By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In a follow-up on a report on Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in Michigan, the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services reports three confirmed human cases in Michigan: two in Kalamazoo County and one in Berrien County.

Image/David Benbennick

One of the confirmed individuals from Kalamazoo County has died.

In addition, there are two additional suspected human cases: one in Kalamazoo County and one in Berrien County. There are two additional cases in Kalamazoo County under investigation.

“We strongly encourage residents to take precautions such as using insect repellent with DEET, wearing longsleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors during the peak mosquito-biting hours which are dusk and dawn.” said James Rutherford, Health Officer of Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department.

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The risk for contracting EEE throughout Kalamazoo County is considered widespread and all residents should take actions to prevent mosquito bites until the first hard frost of the year. The best way to prevent EEE or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

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The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33 percent fatality rate in people who become ill and a 90 percent fatality rate in horses that become ill. People can become infected with the EEE virus from the bite of a mosquito carrying the virus. It cannot be transmitted person to person or horse to person or deer to person.

Early symptoms of EEE include the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, body and joint aches.
Symptoms usually appear 4-10 days after exposure. EEE can develop into severe encephalitis (brain swelling), resulting in headache, disorientation, tremors, seizures and paralysis. Permanent brain damage, coma and death may also occur in some cases.

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