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Michigan resident infected with deadly mosquito-borne illness, health officials say

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For the primary time since 2016, a Michigan resident has been recognized with a case of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), a mosquito-borne virus that may result in “lasting brain damage” and even dying, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services said in a Monday statement.

The information comes after the Lansing resident, who has not but been recognized, was hospitalized in August “with a neurological illness,” the division mentioned. The case is the primary within the state since three folks have been infected in 2016.

EEE is transmitted by the chunk of an infected mosquito. The an infection is “a virus of birds that is spread by mosquitoes near swamps and bogs,” in keeping with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.


While uncommon in people, the illness is deadly.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that just about a 3rd of these recognized with EEE die, whereas those that survive “have mild to severe permanent neurologic damage.”

“An average of 7 human cases of EEE are reported each year in the United States. Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, and New Jersey typically have the largest number of cases. EEEV transmission is most common in and around freshwater hardwood swamps in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states and the Great Lakes region,” the CDC continued.

Those prone to contracting the virus — named partly as a result of horses are vulnerable to an infection, in keeping with the CDC — is larger for individuals who “engage in outdoor work and recreational activities” within the areas the place the virus is extra widespread.

Symptoms of an EEE an infection embody fever, headache, chills and nausea, in keeping with the division. However, the CDC additionally famous that “it is possible that some people who become infected with EEEV may be asymptomatic.”

While a vaccine is on the market to guard horses from the virus, there may be none for people.

“There is still plenty of mosquito season left in Michigan,” Dr. Eden Wells, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ chief medical government, mentioned within the assertion.

“Michigan residents are urged to take precautions to guard themselves and their households from mosquito bites together with utilizing mosquito repellent and sporting lengthy pants and lengthy sleeves,” whereas exterior, Wells mentioned.


Other tips to forestall mosquitos embody utilizing screens on home windows and doorways and keep away from going exterior at nightfall and daybreak, when the bugs are most energetic. Emptying standing water areas the place mosquitoes lay eggs — similar to tires, chicken baths, and buckets, amongst different objects — can also be necessary for prevention, the CDC mentioned. 

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can observe her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

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