EEE Now Responsible for 11 Deaths in the U.S. This Year

EEE Now Responsible for 11 Deaths in the U.S. This Year

A fourth person in Michigan has died of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), bringing the death toll to 11 nationwide.

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A fourth person in Michigan has died of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) mosquito virus, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday. The death of a Calhoun County man brings the nationwide EEE death toll to 11.

According to MLive.com, to date, there are nine confirmed human cases in Michigan. Earlier fatalities due to the disease were reported in Kalamazoo, Van Buren and Cass counties. The nine human cases also include residents from Berrien and Barry counties, according to MDHHS.

Earlier in the week, a Connecticut resident in their 60s died of Eastern equine encephalitis, state  health officials reported. The Connecticut Department of Public Health said another person, who is in their 40s, is hospitalized with the rare virus that is transmitted by mosquitoes, CNN reported. Thus far, three Connecticut residents have died from EEE.

In addition to the Connecticut deaths, three people have died in Massachusetts, four people in Michigan and one person has died in Rhode Island.

According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in an average year, the U.S. sees only seven human cases Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE. In 2019, the U.S. has already seen about 30 cases.

As CDC noted, EEE cases are most commonly reported from late spring to early fall, so EEE incidents should decline soon.

EEE causes brain infections. There are typically only 5 to 10 human cases reported in the United States each year, according to CDC. About 30% of all cases result in death. 

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