Her health rapidly deteriorated and according to her husband Robert Sylvia Jr. she passed away six days later on August 25.
The Massachusetts Department of Health confirmed her death was caused by the extremely rare mosquito borne illness Eastern Equine Encephalitis or EEE. The MDHC released a statement claiming this to be the fourth confirmed case in the state this month.
According to reports three other men have been infected with EEE which causes the brain to swell and is often fatal.
The last recorded case of EEE was back in 2012.
Married for 40 years Laurie and Robert shared three children, their daughter Jen took to Facebook posting a tribute to their beloved mother.
‘My mum was my favourite person in the world. She brought light and joy to everyone she came across,’ Jen wrote.
The Centers for Disease Control say that places with warm and marshy conditions are breeding grounds for EEE.
5% of people who develop a serious case of EEE fall into a coma due to inflammation on the brain. One third of these die from the virus or have permanent neurological damage. There is currently no known cure for EEE.
According to the ABC symptoms include:
Flu-like illness (chills, fatigue, joint and muscle pains)
Health officials are on alert after a 14-year-old girl contracted EEE in Michigan. She remains hospitalised and fighting for her life.
30 communities in Massachusetts remain on a critical risk alert and people are urged to avoid outdoor activity from dusk to dawn.
Authorities urge people to wear long sleeves and use mosquito repellent.