GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The state says a Montcalm County resident has died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
Officials didn’t release additional details about the death on Friday.
“Our sympathies to the family and friends of this Michigan resident,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in a news release. “EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, which is why we made the decision to conduct aerial treatment last month. We continue to urge Michiganders to take precautions against mosquitoes.”
The Montcalm County resident was the second human case of EEE in Michigan. The first human case was Jeff Wescott of Hastings, who has since been released from Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.
EEE is a mosquito-borne illness that, while rare, can often prove fatal when its symptoms become serious. It’s nearly always deadly for horses, but there is a vaccine for horses and not one for people.
The state has confirmed 36 EEE cases in animals across 15 counties this year.
On Friday, officials confirmed EEE in a horse from Baraga County in the Upper Peninsula. It was the first case of EEE in the UP this year and the first-ever case in Baraga County.
Health officials urge everyone to take action to protect themselves from the virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile Virus.
You should wear mosquito repellent with DEET, wear long sleeves and pants outdoors, and avoid being outdoors around dusk and at night. You should also make sure your window screens are in good repair to keep the pests out of your home.