SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Now with the threat of EEE in the Bay State rising, state senators are speaking up to bring change.

Senators Markey and Warren are pressing health officials for additional research on EEE, a deadly disease that is still surrounded by questions.

The total number of human cases of the Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Massachusetts has risen to 7 after officials confirmed two new human cases of EEE with the latest being a 5-year-old girl from Sudsbury, who had just started kindergarten.

She is still in an area hospital in critical condition.

Local leaders are trying to restrict out-door activity, hoping to reduce the risk of exposure to other children.

But even with restrictions in place, there are still multiple questions surrounding the disease.

In severe cases, triple e can also lead to brain swelling and permanent nerve damage.

Doctors said most will recover if bitten by an infected mosquito but for those who don't, mortality rates are as high as 50%

Statewide there are now 36 communities at critical risk, 42 at high risk, and 115 at moderate risk.

While efforts have been made in several towns to reduce the risk of exposure.

That is why Senators Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren are pressing federal state officials for further research on the disease.

In a letter to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases, they said:

"The only way to prevent EEE transmission is to protect against mosquito bites; aerial spraying alone cannot eradicate the danger. Though [we] will continue to take steps to minimize the risk of exposure, it is important to explore different medical options to prevent or treat this reoccurring menace."

They hope that with further research we will be able to better fight against the spread of the deadly disease.

State officials said that we are not out of the woods with this threat until the first hard frost.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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