First loss of life from mosquito-borne virus

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Ricardo Torres
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Posted on September 11, 2020 at 11:11 PM EDT

A woman in her sixties in Chippewa County has died after contracting a case of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), according to the Wisconsin Department of Health and the Chippewa County Department of Health.

Health officials believe the disease was caused by a mosquito bite. It is the second case of electrical and electronic equipment this year and the first to result in death.

“The severity of this infection cannot be emphasized enough,” said Stephanie Smiley, interim health officer. “As mosquitoes continue to be active in Wisconsin, we urge people to continue taking steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”

This year, nine cases of electrical and electronic equipment in horses were reported in the northwestern part of the state and four in Chippewa County, according to DHS.

Health officials say the EEE virus is rare but can be fatal in people of all ages. Symptoms can appear three to ten days after an infected mosquito bites a person. The disease causes inflammation and swelling of the brain.

Mosquitoes acquire the EEE virus by feeding on infected birds.

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