But news of Manseau’s illness spread through the tight-knit Lake Attitash community. After spending more than 30 years in Newburyport, Manseau and her husband, a retired principal of Triton Regional High School in Byfield, moved in 2005 to the Amesbury side of the lake, which straddles Merrimac.
Manseau worked for 40 years as a registered nurse, including in the surgical day care unit at Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport. In addition to her professional career, she was a devoted mother and grandmother and an active member of Hope Community Church in Newburyport, where the church community was mourning her loss yesterday.
She also cherished her family, and photos and messages from her children and grandchildren filled her Facebook page.
So far this year, six Massachusetts residents have been diagnosed with EEE while 16 people have contracted West Nile virus, a less serious disease also carried by mosquitoes. A man in his 70s from Georgetown was also diagnosed with EEE last week.
Earlier this month, a man in his 70s from Worcester County was the state’s first reported EEE fatality this year, according to the DPH. Following the two EEE cases in the region last week, the threat level for the disease was raised to critical in Amesbury, Merrimac and Haverhill. Georgetown was already considered at critical level due to the death of a horse from EEE last month.
As a result of the EEE outbreak, area communities have canceled organized outdoor activities taking place in the area from as early as 3 p.m. to as late as 9 a.m., until further notice. Northeast Mosquito Control has been vigorously spraying the region, having targeted Amesbury, Newburyport, Georgetown, Salisbury and other communities in recent weeks.
More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results from 2012, can be found at www.mass.gov/dph/wnv or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800. Area residents with questions about mosquitoes or how to control them can contact their local health departments or Jack Card, director of the Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control and Wetlands Management District, at 978-463-6630.