Deadly mosquito brain-infecting virus claims 6th victim in Michigan

The Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus has now taken the lives of six people in the state.


NSFW    ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN — A farmer from Michigan passed away from complications related to the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus on Saturday, November 16, according to local news station WNDU.

Health officials in Michigan say six people from the state have now succumbed to the deadly virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states on its website that the virus is spread from avian hosts to mosquitoes. The mosquitoes carry the virus and transmit it to humans.

The CDC says that after contracting the virus, a person may become sick with one of two types of illness: systemic or encephalitic.

A systemic infection includes flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills or malaise.

An encephalitic infection includes symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting and swelling of the brain.

Most people infected do not develop any symptoms. According to CDC statistics, around 5 percent of those infected develop an encephalitic illness. Those older than 50 or younger than 15 are at a greater risk of developing this severe form of the illness.

There is currently no human vaccine available against the virus.

The CDC advises the public to use insect repellent with active ingredients such as DEET, picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil.

Officials also advise the public to wear long-sleeved clothing and to close windows to prevent mosquito bites.
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