Published September 16, 2009
OSWEGO, N.Y. – Health officials say a central New York resident has died of Eastern equine encephalitis, a rare viral brain infection spread by mosquitoes.
It's the first reported case of EEE in the state since 1983, when a 7-year-old suburban Syracuse boy died of it.
Oswego County health director Dennis Norfleet advised people in central New York to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
Health officials in Rhode Island, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine have reported EEE found in mosquitoes. A 3-year-old New Hampshire girl is recovering from the disease.
The Centers for Disease Control says an average of five human cases of EEE occur each year in the U.S. It also infects horses.