Rare, Fatal Mosquito Borne Virus Cases Grow In Farming Community

Animals with Eastern Equine Encephalitis found in Genesee, Lapeer counties

Although horses are at risk for EEE infection, the CDC says infected horses are unlikely to spread the disease to people because the amount of the virus in their bloodstreams usually is not enough to pass it on to mosquitoes.

"Michigan is now experiencing its worst Eastern Equine Encephalitis outbreak in more than a decade", said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan's chief medical executive and chief deputy for health.

Gregg's family, is still reeling from the loss, but they are urging others to take every precaution - including avoiding swampy areas and wearing DEET repellent - to protect themselves from the rapid, catastrophic disease.

Officials say that people infected with the virus that causes EEE do not become ill.

"He was perfectly healthy, happy human being and within a matter of nine days he went from perfectly healthy to brain dead", his brother, Mark McChesney, told News 8. "The ongoing cases reported in humans and animals and the severity of this disease illustrate the importance of taking precautions against mosquito bites".

To avoid being bitten, health officials recommend using mosquito repellent containing DEET and wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers while outdoors, as well as emptying standing water around the home to reduce mosquito breeding grounds. Rhode Island is reporting 3 cases of EEE and MA had 8 cases as of Friday, September 13, including one death.

In neighboring MA, officials confirmed the state's eighth human case of the virus on Friday, one of which was fatal.

The other four confirmed cases were in Kalamazoo, Berrien, and Barry counties.

Since the man works in a number of communities in Essex County, including Boxford, Ipswich, Essex, Gloucester, Manchester and Topsfield, it's not known where he contracted the mosquito-born virus, according to the Manchester public health department.

"He was a great guy". He beloved life, Mark informed News channel. "I don't think he would have any regrets". I don't think so because he found himself'.

Symptoms of an EEE infection include chills, fever, and joint and muscle pain.

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