By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Wisconsin health officials reported first human death from Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in 2020 in a woman in her 60’s who had been living in Chippewa County.

Wisconsin map/National Atlas of the United States

This is the second human case of EEE in state so far this year, and the first resulting in a death.

“We are very sad to report that one of our fellow Wisconsinites has contracted EEE and has passed away. This is the second confirmed case of EEE in our state this year and the seriousness of this infection cannot be overstated,” cautioned Interim State Health Officer Stephanie Smiley. “Since mosquitoes continue to be active in Wisconsin, we are urging people to continue to take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”

There have also been nine cases of EEE reported in horses this year; all of which were in the northwestern part of the state, and four of those from Chippewa County. These cases in animals and now in two residents of our community represent unusually high levels of EEE activity in the state.

EEE virus is a rare, but potentially fatal disease that can affect people of all ages. Symptoms begin anywhere from three to ten days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Inflammation and swelling of the brain, called encephalitis, is the most dangerous and frequent serious complication. In Wisconsin, the last human case of EEE was reported in 2017.

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