By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

Following the first human Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) case in a Barry County resident in mid-September, Michigan state health officials reported a second case in Montcalm County.



According to a local media account, the individual has died from the mosquito-borne virus.

The state has confirmed 36 EEE cases in animals across 15 counties this year–(1 Allegan, 1 Baraga,1 Barry, 1 Calhoun, 5 Clare, 3 Ionia, 1 Isabella, 2 Jackson, 3 Kent, 2 Livingston, 1 Mecosta, 8 Montcalm, 2 Newaygo, 4 Oakland, and 1 Tuscola).

The Mid-Michigan District Health Department says Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a disease found in birds, and spread between birds by mosquitos. Certain species of mosquitos can also spread the disease from birds to some mammals, like horses, deer, and humans. The disease cannot be passed between mammals, such as from horse to horse or horse to human.

People younger than age 15 and over age 50 are at greatest risk of severe disease following infection. Signs of EEE include the sudden onset of fever, chills, body and joint aches which can progress to severe encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

Eastern Equine Encephalitis infection in humans is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States. Avoiding mosquito bites is the best way to protect oneself from EEE and other diseases, like West Nile. Ways to avoid mosquito bites include:

  • Applying an insect repellent that contains DEET, or other Environmental Protection Agency-approved product to exposed skin, following the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
  • Applying insect repellent to clothing. Permethrin is a particularly effective repellant for clothing.
  • Maintaining window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Emptying water from mosquito breeding sites, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools and old tires.