Eastern equine encephalitis has a 33% fatality rate among infected humans
Michigan state officials are warning citizens about an uptick in the deadly Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus, which is spread by mosquitoes and can infect both horses and humans.
The warning comes after the first human case of EEE was confirmed this year.
Tina Wescott told Local 4 WDIV that her husband, Jeff, tested positive for EEE and went from being healthy to unable to walk in 10 days.
He was in a coma for a couple of days, and then when he opened his eyes for the first time, that was a moment I'll never forget, Tina Wescott said.
Although Jeff Wescott's health is improving, he faces a long road to recovery.
So far, the mosquito-borne illness has killed 22 horses in 10 counties. There is a vaccine for horses, but not for humans, which is a shame as the virus has a 33% fatality rate in humans.
West Nile and EEE cases typically increase in the state during summer and early autumn months. So far, there have been nine confirmed cases of West Nile in Michigan this year.
Michigan officials are conducting aerial mosquito treatments to target areas where animal cases have been confirmed. They are also encouraging everyone across Michigan to take steps to protect themselves from mosquitoes, such as wearing mosquito repellent, removing standing water near homes, and repairing holes in window screens.