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Rare mosquito-borne virus suspected in Michigan; Counties urged to cancel outdoor events after dusk

Will the EEE virus be the next pandemic? Mosquito bites causing more dangerous symptoms than itching, symptoms like Sudden Fever, Body Aches, Headache, Disorientation, Tremors, Seizures, Paralysis and Coma. No vaccine and No cure available. The only way to prevent is to avoid mosquito bites. Precautions include wearing long sleeves and pants, limiting activities after dusk and spraying insect repellents. What are your thoughts on this subject and how will you attempt to avoid getting bit?

A Michigan adult is suspected of having the rare and dangerous mosquito-borne virus Eastern equine encephalitis, health officials announced Tuesday.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services now urges people in 10 Michigan counties — Barry, Clare, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo and Oakland — to cancel or postpone outdoor events that take place at or after dusk to prevent more people from contracting the virus, which is spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The adult suspected of having the virus is from Barry County.

Triple E, the virus is one of the deadliest mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33% fatality rate in people who become ill. It leaves many survivors with physical and mental disabilities. It kills 90% of the horses sickened by the virus. So far this year, 22 horses in the 10 counties that are urged to cancel outdoor events have had confirmed cases of the virus.

“MDHHS continues to encourage local officials in the affected counties to consider postponing, rescheduling or canceling outdoor activities occurring at or after dusk, particularly those involving children, to reduce the potential for people to be bitten by mosquitoes,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS, in a statement.

If the suspected human case is confirmed through lab testing later this week, it would be the first person with EEE this year in Michigan. 

Last year, EEE infected 38 people in the U.S. — more than in any previous year since it has been tracked by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a typical year, there are seven cases nationally.

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