Michigan health officials investigating deadly virus spread by mosquitoes

File photo of a mosquito (WOOD-TV photo)
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KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. (WTHR) - State health officials in Michigan suspect three people may be affected by a deadly virus that's caused by mosquitoes.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis, also known as EEE, has a 33% mortality rate in humans and is 90% fatal for horses that are affected. Doctors say mosquitoes carry the deadly virus and symptoms can include fever, joint pain, confusion and even seizures.

There is a vaccine for horses, but no direct treatment for humans.

The Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department in southeast Michigan and local doctors are monitoring the latest suspected cases of EEE.

"Unfortunately, it starts like what most people refer to as a flu-like illness and that's fairly non-specific and the take-home message there is the majority of people that have Eastern Equine Encephalitis infections don't know it are asymptomatic, recover, and we don't even have the numbers," said Dr. David Davenport, infectious disease specialist at Ascension Borgess Hospital.

Doctors are asking people to wear mosquito repellant and long clothing to protect themselves from the virus.