When mosquito season rolls around we're always warned to be safe from West Nile Virus, what we rarely hear about is Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). EEE is also contracted by mosquitoes, however is much more rare and has a 33% fatality rate making it one of the most dangerous in the country.

Now the Michigan Department of Health and Humane Services has confirmed an Allegan County man has the disease. According to the MDHHS, even if a person lives they often have permanent brain damage. The infected resident was hospitalized late last month.

Health officials are warning and reminding residents to keep protecting themselves against mosquitoes, especially since there already have been many reports of WNV so far this year, including two deaths.

“There is still plenty of mosquito season left in Michigan."

The last case of EEE in the state was in 2016 amongst three people. Horses are also susceptible. MDHHS recommends protecting yourself in the following ways:

  • Use insect repellent
  • Wear long-sleeve shirts and pants
  • Stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active (dusk to dawn)
  • Use nets over outdoor furniture
  • Get rid of mosquito pools

The CDC says it's most common in the Atlantic and Gulf states. The virus starts in birds and is spread in swamps.