Michigan sees human Eastern equine encephalitis case

Posted at 8:19 AM, Sep 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 08:28:05-04

Health officials say a resident of western Michigan has been infected with Eastern equine encephalitis.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Allegan County Health Department announced Monday that the person was hospitalized in late August.

Eastern equine encephalitis is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S. It can be fatal and often leaves survivors with brain damage.

Southwestern Michigan has experienced outbreaks of the disease in people and horses in the past, with the most recent outbreaks occurring in the early 1980s, mid-1990s and 2010. Health officials say it's the first human case reported in Michigan since 2016, when three people were infected.

Eastern equine encephalitis can cause neurologic illness in horses. Vaccination can protect horses from infection.