Kent County deer tests positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

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GRAND RAPIDS — The Michigan Department Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) has found a deer in Kent County to have Eastern Equine Encephalitis after a necropsy.

KCHD is encouraging residents to take precautionary measures to protect themselves from EEE and West Nile Virus (WNV).

The MDHHS recommends schools to issue a postponement, rescheduling or cancellation of outdoor activities occurring at or after dusk, such as late evening outdoor sports practices, games or music practices.

To date, there has not been a reported human case of EEE or WNV in Kent county. However, in Michigan the MDHHS has confirmed EEE in eight human cases, three of which resulted in death.

Four Michigan residents have become ill due to WNV this year and WNV infected mosquitoes have been found present in Kent County.

Less than 1 percent of people infected can develop a serious neurological issue which can progress to encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Approximately 30 percent of the people whose illness progresses to this point will die and many survivors have ongoing neurologic issue.

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