State health officials are reporting the first death from Eastern equine encephalitis in Massachusetts this year. The victim was a man in his 70s who lived in the Metrowest area of Worcester County. He was admitted to a hospital early last month and died several days later. An autopsy confirmed that the man died of EEE and officials believe he was exposed to the mosquito-borne virus during the first week of August.

There has been one other confirmed human case of EEE in Massachusetts this year, in a Metrowest-area resident believed to have contracted the virus outside of the state. The state Department of Public Health also said Thursday that EEE has been found in a horse stabled in Belchertown, prompting officials to raise the EEE threat level to 'critical' in that community.

[Via AP]