Michigan reports two new EEE cases

Two cases of eastern equine encephalitis have been reported in Michigan, coming on the heels of four EEE-related deaths in Florida earlier this season.

Michigan health officials confirmed to AOLHealth.com last week that two Michigan residents contracted the rare disease. One Michigan victim, a 61-year-old male, is in recovery and the other man, 41, is hospitalized., according to the report.

Susan Hills, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told AOLHealth.com that the two recent Michigan EEE cases, the four cases in Florida and one other in Rhode Island brings this year’s toll to seven human cases.

Joe Conlon, technical advisor for the American Mosquito Control Association, told AOLHealth.com that residents can take precautions to keep the pesky insects at bay.

“Drain pools of water in containers near the home,” Conlon told AOLHealth.com. “Dress properly. And defend yourself. What I recommend is to utilize a mosquito repellent that you will actually use.”

The Michigan cases come during what the Michigan Department of Agriculture has called a near-record-breaking outbreak among horses. Officials are following a string of EEE cases in horses in six Michigan counties.

EEE is a mosquito-borne illness that usually affects horses, but is rare in humans. There is currently no vaccine for EEE, which causes inflammation of the brain and can also cause headaches, high fevers and chills, seizures, a coma and even death.