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3 cases of deadly mosquito viruses suspected in West Michigan



KALAMAZOO, MI – State health officials suspect that three West Michigan residents have contracted a fatal mosquito-borne disease, Equine Encephalitis (EEE), in three Kalamazoo and Berrien counties.

In addition to these cases, six horses died in the Barry, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph districts this year, MDHHS officials said.

There is an EEE vaccine for horses, for humans there is no such vaccine. According to health authorities, the death rate of electrical and electronic equipment is 33 percent in humans and 90 percent in horses.

Like the West Nile virus, people also suffer from electrical and electronic equipment that is attacked by mosquitoes that transmit the virus. No cases of West Nile virus in humans have been reported in the state this year, although health officials found infected mosquitoes and birds.

Another mosquito-borne virus called California Encephalitis has been confirmed in a Genesee County resident.

Mosquito-borne diseases can have long-term effects on human health and even death, "said Drs. Mary Grace Stobierski, public veterinarian of MDHHS, in a statement. "These cases, along with confirmed cases in horses and deer in the state, emphasize the importance of taking precautionary measures against mosquito bites."

To prevent mosquito bites, health authorities recommend using DEET insect repellents and long-sleeved shirts to wear long johns, protect window and door windows, flush outdoor pool water, and clean outdoor dining areas.

Symptoms of electrical and electronic equipment include sudden fever, chills, pain on the body and joints. Symptoms of the California Encephalitis virus include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and lethargy.

Both diseases can develop into severe, acute brain inflammation, leading to headache, disorientation, trembling, cramping, and paralysis.

In some cases, permanent brain damage, coma, and death can occur.

More information can be found here.


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