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First Human Case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus in Wisconsin

EAU CLAIRE (WAOW)- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and the Eau Claire County Health Department today announced that laboratory testing has confirmed the first human case of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus infection this year.

The virus was found in a female under the age of 18 who is a resident of Eau Claire County.

As a result, DHS and Eau Claire County Health Department are reminding everyone to protect themselves from mosquito bites by using mosquito repellent any time they are outside.

Previously, the virus had only been seen in horses, making this the first case for humans.

The news of a human case of EEE comes after the state announced last week that horses in three northwestern Wisconsin counties were infected with the virus.

EEE virus is a rare, but potentially fatal disease that can affect people of all ages. In Wisconsin, the last human case of EEE was reported in 2017.

EEE can be spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes acquire EEE virus by feeding on infected birds.

The virus is not spread person to person or directly between animals and humans.

Sam Brink

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