Michigan health officials suspect a resident has contracted the rare and life-threatening Eastern Horse Encephalitis (EEE) disease after being bitten by a mosquito, they said Tuesday.
This is the first human case of EEE in the state so far this year and the sixth in the United States.
Last year, the United States saw an unusual jump in the number of people bitten by infected mosquitoes. By early October 2019, at least 30 people had been infected with the disease, which kills about 30 percent of people who catch it.
After identifying a possible case in Bari County, Michigan, officials there are urging area residents to stay inside ̵
Michigan health officials reported a suspected case of a deadly mosquito-borne disease, eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), per capita this week. If confirmed, it will be the first case of infection in the country that kills 33% of human casualties this year, and the sixth for the nation (dossier)
“This alleged case of EEE in a Michigan resident shows that it is a constant threat to the health and safety of Michigan and calls for continued action to prevent exposure, including air treatment,” said the chief medical officer of the Department of Health and Human Services. humanitarian services in Michigan in a declaration.
On Wednesday, the state began “air processing” using special dust planes in 10 counties.
In addition to the treatment plan, health officials suggested the counties – Barry, Claire, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Mecosta, Moncalm, New York and Auckland – consider canceling outdoor events planned after dusk, especially if they involve children. .
The suspected case of EEE has not yet been confirmed, but officials suspect that confirmation laboratories will return by the end of the week. No further details were provided.
EEE most often begins with fever, body aches, and chills that appear suddenly.
Already 22 horses have been infected in Michigan this year – a worrying harbinger that there may be more human cases (pictured: mosquitoes swarm horses in Louisiana, another state where insects and animals are sometimes infected with EEE; file)
It can progress rapidly to cause intense headaches and disorientation, as well as trembling seizures and eventually paralysis.
The EEE virus (EEEV) is transmitted mainly by mosquitoes, which can transmit it to birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals – especially horses.
Already this year in Michigan, 22 cases of horses have been confirmed, animals for which the virus is deadly about 90 percent of the time when they get sick.
EEEV can travel from mosquito bites through the bloodstream to the membranes around the spinal cord and brain.
Once the brain is infected, the virus can cause dangerous swelling, which can be fatal for 33% of symptomatic people.
Most years, there are only five to 10 cases that occur between spring and early autumn, when warm weather provides favorable conditions for mosquito breeding and, of course, feeding.
Insects and the virus tend to thrive in humid, swampy areas, especially low-lying water.
The cases are most common in the East Coast, the Great Lakes region and the Gulf states.
In the last decade, Massachusetts – which has had three cases this year – Florida, Georgia, New York and North Carolina. Two cases were reported in 2020 in Wisconsin.