Massachusetts man, 58, becomes the FOURTH person to die from the rare mosquito-borne disease EEE in the state’s worst outbreak since 1956
- Scott Mosman, 58, of Taunton, Massachusetts, died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis on Friday
- The rare disease is transferred by infected mosquitoes and kills one-third of those who fall ill
- Mosman’s family says he was infected by the virus in September before he was transferred into hospice care two weeks ago
- His death is the state’s fourth this year and brings the nationwide death toll to 13, marking the worst outbreak of the disease in 60 years
- Four deaths have been reported in Michigan, three in Connecticut, one in Indiana and one in Rhode Island
Scott Mosman, 58 (pictured), of Taunton, Massachusetts, died from the rare mosquito-borne disease Eastern Equine Encephalitis on Friday
A fourth Massachusetts resident has died after contracting the rare mosquito-borne disease Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), bringing the nationwide death toll to 13.
The victim is 58-year-old Scott Mosman of Taunton, who died on Friday, reported the Taunton Daily Gazette.
According to his family, he contracted the virus in September and was moved into hospice care two weeks ago.
In an obituary, Mosman was described as an environmental engineer who loved sailing, mountain biking and animals.
The death has not yet been confirmed by the state’s Department of Public Health.
Mosman’s passing marks the fourth fatality from EEE in the Commonwealth out of 12 confirmed cases.
There have additionally been four deaths in Michigan, three in Connecticut, one in Indiana and one in Rhode Island.
The growing death toll in Massachusetts has led the state to classify more communities as at-risk for the virus.
Currently, there are 35 communities considered critical risk, 53 communities considered high risk and 121 at moderate risk.
Massachusetts’s outbreak of the virus is the worst since 1956.
Last month, the state’s US Senators Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren requested any research the National Institutes of Health has on EEE.
EEE is a rare disease caused by a virus that is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes.
It was first detected in Massachusetts in 1831 and typically affects about an equal number of horses and humans every year: roughly five to 10.
There is a vaccine for horses who contract the virus, but not humans.
The majority of cases occur between late spring through early fall along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states
Mosman’s family says he was infected by the virus in September before he was transferred into hospice care two weeks ago. Pictured: Mosman, left, with his son, Justin
His death is the state’s fourth this year and brings the nationwide death toll to 13, with four additional deaths reported in Michigan, three in Connecticut, one in Indiana and one in Rhode Island
Most people don’t develop symptoms, but those who do can experience chills, fevers, headaches and vomiting.
Occasionally, the disease can cause seizures or life-threatening brain swelling (encephalitis).
There is no cure and treatments consists of supportive therapy such as respiratory support and IV fluids.
About one-third of those with EEE die from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Health officials recommend that residents protect themselves by wearing long sleeves and pants as well as bug spray when going outside.
They also suggest draining any standing water from places such as bird baths and buckets because mosquitoes are attracted to still water.
Mosman’s teenage son, Justin, has started a GoFundMe page to help aise funds for EEE research. As of Tuesday morning, nearly $3,000 has been raised out of a $150,000 goal.