BOSTON (AP) — U.S. Sens. Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren are pressing federal health officials on research efforts to combat eastern equine encephalitis.

The two Massachusetts Democrats this week sent a letter to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases within the National Institutes of Health seeking the current state of federal research into EEE and whether research into other viruses could help lead to better treatment for the mosquito-borne infection.

Two new human cases of EEE were confirmed in Massachusetts this week, bringing the total this season to seven.

One of the previously announced cases was fatal.

There are now 36 communities statewide at critical risk, 42 at high risk, and 115 at moderate risk.

Massachusetts has seen a disproportionately high number of EEE cases since 2009, second only to Florida.

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