OFFICIALS are warning of a spike in "one of the most dangerous killer mosquito viruses" with a 33 PERCENT fatality rate has been reported in Michigan.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis – also known as EEE virus – has been reported at twice the rate this year as it was last year, the state's Department of Health and Human Services warned in statement.
The virus has been confirmed in 22 horses across ten counties in the state.
Although no cases have been reported in humans in Michigan, the government is warning of the deadly pests, and taking action to prevent spread of the deadly virus.
"EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33 percent fatality rate in people who become ill," the state's DDHS said.
"People can be infected with EEE from one bite of a mosquito carrying the virus," it added.
The CDC said five cases had been reported in humans across the US as of September 9.
Two cases were seen in Wisconsin, and three were reported in Massachusetts, the CDC said.
According to the CDC, the "virus is a rare cause of brain infections."
Although only a few cases are reported in the US each year, around a third of people die from the virus.
The virus has an incubation period of around four to ten days, and can cause meningitis or encephalitis – a kind of brain infection, the CDC states.
According to the government agency, common symptoms of an infection include chills, fever, joint and/or muscle pain, and a general feeling of unwell.
In severe cases, people may experience headaches, vomiting, seizures, and coma among other symptoms, the CDC said.
Many survivors will "have ongoing neurologic problems," the CDC warned.
People under the age of 15, and over the age of 50 are most at risk for serious illness if they contract the virus, Michigan's DDHS warned.
The DDHS warned that while there is an EEE vaccine for horses, there is not one for humans.
In an effort to halt spread of the killer virus, Michigan is doing "aerial mosquito control treatment in certain high-risk areas."
"To prevent the loss of life and protect public health, MDHHS has determined a targeted aerial treatment plan is necessary," the government warned.
"When there are high rates of animal infections, humans are just as at risk."
Last year was a record year, with 38 cases of EEE virus reported in humans, according to the CDC.
To protect against mosquito bites, the CDC advises wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, using Environmental Protection Agency registered insect repellents, and removing standing water,
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