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4 new cases of mosquito-borne disease, 2 deaths reported in SW Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WNDU) – There are four new human cases of mosquito-borne disease in southwestern Michigan, including two resulting in death.

New cases have been confirmed in Cass, Van Buren and Barry counties. Previous cases have been confirmed in Berrien and Kalamazoo counties.

Two new cases of fatalities are in Cass and Van Buren counties, while the first cases of deaths are in Kalamazoo County.

The Department of Health and Human Services continues to urge residents to take precautions against Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE. as well as St. Joseph, Genesee and Lapeer counties – which have confirmed cases of animal disease ̵

1; postponed or rescheduled outdoor activities that occurred after dark because of the threat of mosquito-carrying mosquitoes, especially if events involve children.

"Michigan has been experiencing the worst outbreak of Eastern equine encephalitis for over a decade," Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive of MDHHS and chief deputy for health. "The ongoing cases reported in humans and animals and the severity of this disease illustrate the importance of taking precautions against mosquito bites." wear long coats and long pants; make sure the windows are closed or have screens; empty water from mosquito breeding sites such as buckets, pools and old tires; and use nets or fans outside of outdoor dining areas.

EEE has a mortality rate of 33% in people, with the highest risk for people younger than 15 or older.

Symptoms include sudden fever, chills, and physical and joint pain. It can be severe encephalitis, which can show symptoms such as headache, anxiety, chills, seizures and paralysis.

Anyone experiencing these symptoms is encouraged to contact a medical professional immediately.

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