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BOSTON (WHDH) - The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that seven Bay State communities are now at high risk from the eastern equine encephalitis virus.

The communities include Carver, Easton, Freetown, Lakeville, Middleboro, New Bedford, and Raynham, officials said.

The EEE virus has been found in 92 mosquito samples this year and one-third of them are said to be from species of mosquitoes capable of spreading the virus to humans.

No human or animal cases of EEE have been detected this year.

The mosquito surveillance results indicate that the virus has become widespread in an area of Massachusetts that historically sees the most EEE activity,” Public Health Commissioner Monica Bhare said in a press release.  “We’re raising the risk level because there is more activity than we typically see and it is happening early in the season.”

Residents in communities that are at high risk are being urged to reschedule outdoor events at night because mosquitos are most active between dusk and dawn.

EEE is a rare but serious and potentially fatal disease that can affect people of all ages.

Symptoms include the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. The illness may then progress into disorientation, seizures, and coma.

The risk level was also elevated to moderate in 12 other communities, including Berkley, Dighton, East Bridgewater, Hanson, Kingston, Mattapoisett, Norton, Pembroke, Rehoboth, Rochester, Taunton, and West Bridgewater.

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