LANSING, Mich. — A human case of Eastern equine encephalitis has been confirmed in Calhoun County by the state’s health department.
The confirmation now brings the total up to six counties in West Michigan, including: Barry, Berrien, Cass, Calhoun, Kalamazoo and Van Buren. Three of those cases have been fatal.
EEE is a rare mosquito-borne illness with a 33% mortality rate for people who become ill.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has urged schools to move evening activities up in the day to minimize the risk. Many of this week’s athletic events in southwest Michigan have been moved up from the standard 7 p.m. start times due to EEE concerns.
People are advised to protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing long sleeves and pants and using insect repellent with DEET.
Symptoms of EEE include fever chills and body aches, and severe cases can cause headaches, disorientation, tremors, seizures, brain damage, coma and death.