MONTCALM COUNTY, MI — A Montcalm County resident diagnosed with Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) has died, state health leaders said.
Officials did not identify the person or give an age or gender.
The person is the second human case of EEE in Michigan. A Barry County man became severely ill but is now recovering.
“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 Friday, Oct. 2 written statement.
“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,” she said.
While announcing the death, health leaders said a horse from Baraga County in the Upper Peninsula was diagnosed with EEE. It’s the first animal case of EEE in the Upper Peninsula this year.
So far this year, the state has recorded 36 animal cases of EEE across 15 counties. Last year, by the time the mosquito season ended, the state had 50 animal cases and 10 human cases.
Health officials say the threat of EEE will continue until areas receive a hard freeze, equating to temperatures below 28 degrees for several hours.
A vaccine is available for horses. The state veterinarian says horse owners should consider having them vaccinated.
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