Person dies after equine encephalitis infection

By By the Associated Press

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Health officials in central New York say a person has died after being infected with eastern equine encephalitis.

The Onondaga County Public Health Department said on Wednesday that the patient died after being diagnosed with the mosquito-borne virus.

The agency did not release the name, hometown, age or gender of the person.

Several counties in the Syracuse region have sprayed swampy areas identified in recent days as "hot spots" for the mosquitoes carrying the virus.

The brain disease is rare in humans, but can be deadly. The Centers for Disease Control says there's an average of five human cases each year in the United States.

Public health officials advise people to take precautions against mosquito bites in areas where EEE has been found in the insects or horses.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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