Four additional cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) have been confirmed in Michigan including two which have been fatal.

EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States with a 33 percent fatality rate in people who become infected.

People younger than 15 and over 50 are at greatest risk following infection.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) says there have now been seven confirmed human cases of EEE in Michigan with onset dates in July. The new cases expand the area affected by human EEE cases to include Barry, Cass and Van Buren counties. Previously, cases had been confirmed in Kalamazoo and Berrien counties. Two of the new cases, in Cass and Van Buren counties, were fatal, as was an earlier case in Kalamazoo County.

MDHHS is encouraging people in the counties impacted by human EEE cases, plus the counties with animal EEE cases (St. Joseph, Genesee and Lapeer) to consider postponing, rescheduling or cancelling outdoor activities, practices and games occurring at or after dusk, especially those that involve children.

As of Sept. 16, nine cases of EEE in horses have been confirmed in Barry, Kalamazoo, Lapeer, and St. Joseph counties. None of the horses were vaccinated against EEE and all have died. There is an EEE vaccine available for horses, but not for people.

Five deer in Barry, Cass, Genesee, Kalamazoo, and Van Buren counties have also been confirmed with EEE. All five deer were euthanized due to severe symptoms.

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