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Freezing temps reduce EEE risk ‘close to zero,’ official says

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Posted at 4:22 PM, Nov 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-01 16:26:37-04

LANSING, Mich. — A mosquito-borne virus that has resulted in five Michigan deaths may no longer be a threat this year.

Freezing temperatures the past few days have reduced the risk of EEE (Eastern equine encephalitis) to “close to zero,” according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“In the unlikely event that temps warm to above 50 degrees again, there would be a theoretical risk,” said Lynn Sutfin, a MDHHS spokeswoman, in an email to Fox 47. “But it would be unlikely, as there would probably be few adult mosquitoes around.”

The Fox 47 weather forecast calls for high temperatures below 50 degrees this weekend and all of next week.

State officials have confirmed 10 EEE cases this year, including five deaths. The cases were reported in Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties.

As of Oct. 29, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had reported 35 confirmed cases of EEE in the U.S., including 13 deaths.

EEE is considered one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S. with a 33 percent fatality rate, according to the Michigan.gov website.

People can be infected with EEE from a single bite of a mosquito carrying the virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhea and drowsiness.

For more information about EEE in Michigan, visit michigan.gov/emergingdiseases .

Want to see more local news ? Visit the FOX47News Website.

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