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Deaths from mosquito-borne EEE virus prompt calls to cancel outdoor events in Michigan
DETROIT – Three Michigan residents have died from the rare mosquito-borne virus Eastern equine encephalitis and four others have been sickened by the disease, state health officials said Tuesday, amid the biggest outbreak in more than a decade.
Those who live in all eight of the affected counties – Kalamazoo, Cass, Van Buren, Berrien, Barry, St. Joseph, Genesee and Lapeer counties – are urged to consider canceling, postponing or rescheduling outdoor events that occur at or after dusk, especially those that involve children, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.
“Michigan is currently experiencing its worst Eastern equine encephalitis outbreak in more than a decade,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “The ongoing cases reported in humans and animals and the severity of this disease illustrate the importance of taking precautions against mosquito bites.”

Rhode Island girl, 6, nearly dies after contracting rare mosquito-borne EEE virus: ‘We could have lost her’
A young Rhode Island girl narrowly escaped death after contracting the rare and potentially deadly Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus, her family says.
Late last month, 6-year-old Star Jackman, of Coventry, came home from her second day of school complaining of a headache. Her symptoms worsened over the next few days; Star developed a fever and began to vomit.
On Sept. 1, her parents, Reginald and Jessica Jackman, took the young girl to a local clinic. Roughly half an hour later, the little girl was in an ambulance on the way to Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
“It escalated that fast,” Reginald told the Providence Journal.
Doctors were unable to pin down exactly what was ailing Star, whose heart-rate plummeted at one point, reported Patch. The normally vibrant girl was so weak that she had trouble lifting her head.
Star’s EEE diagnosed was confirmed Sept. 10, more than a week after she was rushed to the hospital.
Though the young girl is on the mend, her battle with EEE is not entirely over.
The virus affected her motor skills and memory. At one point, while still in the hospital, Star had trouble recognizing her parents and confused her family members’ names, her parents told the Journal. Her memory has improved since, however.
Star also has issues with muscle memory. Walking — once easy for the young girl who loves to dance and sing — is now difficult. Her pace is unsteady and she wobbles. She occasionally suffers from seizures and becomes fatigued easily.
The young girl is now working with both occupational and physical therapists, Reginald told Patch.
“It could last a few days, a month or the rest of her life. We just don’t know,” he said of her recovery timeline.

Mosquito-borne virus victim went from healthy to brain dead in 9 days
(CNN) – A Michigan man went from healthy to brain dead in just nine days after contracting Eastern equine encephalitis, his brother said.
Gregg McChesney, 64, was a “perfectly healthy, happy human being” less than two weeks before his August 19 death from the rare mosquito-borne virus…
The virus, known as EEE, is a rare but potentially fatal mosquito-borne virus.
Only five to 10 human cases of EEE are typically reported each year, with about 30% of all cases result in death, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Signs include sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills and vomiting. More severe symptoms include disorientation, seizures and coma, the CDC said.

Lily Mae Avant, Texas 10-Year-Old Who Contracted Brain-Eating Amoeba In Brazos River, Dies
FORT WORTH, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A 10-year-old Central Texas girl who contracted a brain-eating amoeba after swimming in the Brazos River has died, her family confirmed.
Lily Mae Avant died at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth after she was transferred there last week for treatment.
According to her family, it all started just days after she went swimming in the Brazos River. First she developed a headache and fever but then her condition quickly worsened.
Doctors at Cook Children’s determined she was suffering from primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which is an infection to the brain caused by the amoeba Naegleria fowleri.

Military Uses Layered Approach Against Diseases Borne by Ticks, Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes aren’t just an annoyance at summer barbecues. In many parts of the world, they carry pathogens, including West Nile virus, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis Zika, dengue, yellow fever and malaria.
Until the 1950s, there were outbreaks of malaria in the United States, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. James C. Dunford. Improved sanitation and mosquito monitoring and control are why it’s rare today, he said.
Dunford and James J. English, both entomologists and assistant professors in the Uniformed Services University’s Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics, spoke at a Military Health System Bug Week media roundtable in Falls Church, Virginia, yesterday to highlight the Defense Department’s efforts to combat the effects of bug-borne illnesses around the world.

A deadly mosquito-borne virus that causes brain swelling in humans has been detected in Florida
Florida health officials are warning of an uptick in a mosquito-borne virus known as Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). Several sentinel chickens tested positive for EEE, which can spread to humans via infected mosquitoes and cause brain infection and swelling, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County said in a Thursday statement. Sentinel chickens are fowl that are tested regularly for the West Nile virus and EEE. Their blood can show the presence of the diseases, but they don’t suffer from the effects of the viruses.
Following the positive tests for the sentinel chickens in Orange County, the health department said “the risk of transmission to humans has increased.”
Only about seven cases of the EEE virus in humans are reported in the US each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. However, the disease can be fatal: about 30% of people who contract it die, according to the CDC. Many survivors have ongoing neurologic problems.

Three more cases of West Nile reported in Southern Nevada
The Southern Nevada Health District is issuing precautions as three additional cases of West Nile have been reported in Clark County, bringing the total number to five this year.
According to SNHD, two individuals were over the age of 50. The previous two cases of West Nile also included two females over the age of 50 with neuroinvasive disease.
West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes have tested positive in 25 zip codes, according to the health district. Mosquitoes testing positive for the St. Louis encephalitis virus were found in ten zip codes.

Maine Confirmed Its First Case of a Rare Tick-Borne Virus in Years. Here’s What to Know About Powassan
Health officials have confirmed that an individual in Maine is sick with Powassan virus disease, marking the first time since 2017 that a person in the state has come down with the rare and serious tick-borne illness.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday that a southern Maine resident was hospitalized for Powassan encephalitis—brain inflammation associated with the virus—after showing symptoms in late June. The announcement did not specify the individual’s current condition, but health officials doctors to stay vigilant about the potential spread of Powassan throughout the summer and early fall.
Here’s what to know about the tick-borne Powassan virus disease.

What is EEE Virus? Mosquitoes Carrying Deadly Virus Found in New York and Massachusetts
Health officials have confirmed the potentially life-threatening Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus has been found in mosquitoes in both New York and Massachusetts.
New York’s Oswego County Health Department said on Tuesday that two mosquitoes taken from a field station at Toad Harbor Swamp in West Monroe tested positive for the EEE virus, reported.
If an individual is bitten and becomes infected, it can take between four to 10 days for symptoms of EEE involving encephalitis (EEEV) to emerge. These symptoms include headache, chills, vomiting and a high fever. They may then feel disorientated, experience seizures and fall into a coma. Doctors can diagnose EEE with a blood test.

Bayou Vista, Louisiana Mosquito Pool Positive for St. Louis Encephalitis
St. Mary Parish Government Mosquito Control, through its surveillance program, received a positive mosquito pool for St. Louis encephalitis Friday in the Bayou Vista area.
St. Louis encephalitis is an arbovirus that is transmitted by mosquitoes in nature among birds the same way West Nile virus is transmitted. The primary mosquito vector is the Culex quinquefasciatus and the primary vertebrate host is the house sparrow. SLE is commonly found in urban areas.
This mosquito pool was collected from one of the gravid trap collections in the Bayou Vista area, so in response to this a spray truck will run three consecutive nights in Bayou Vista. The mosquito control crew will also be out doing additional larviciding in areas where water is holding in Bayou Vista.

New DNA test beats others at hunting down germs that inflame the brain, UC study finds
Right now, neurologists don’t have one test that can identify multiple causes of inflammatory neurological diseases such as encephalitis and meningitis. But UC San Francisco researchers say their new DNA test hunted down more of these pathogens than any conventional test did in a newly released study.
Inflammatory neurological diseases are rare, costly to treat, difficult to diagnose and life-threatening.
The pioneering test developed by neurological researchers at UCSF is moving doctors closer to providing patients and their loved ones with the answers they seek. The test uses gene sequencing to identify more causes of these mysterious ailments than any conventional test now being used, according to study released late last week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Animal Model to Help Study “Brain on Fire” Disease – anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis
Scientists have developed an animal model that may provide a path toward improving the diagnosis and treatment of the devastating brain disease, anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, that was chronicled in the bestselling autobiography “Brain on Fire.” The book, along with a 2017 movie by the same name, traces newspaper reporter Susannah Cahalan’s harrowing descent into the throes of the disease.
The autoimmune disease is triggered by an attack on one of the key neurotransmitter receptors in the brain, the NMDA receptor. The disease is characterized by intellectual changes, severe memory loss, seizures, and even death. The study, published today in the journal Science Translational Medicine, reports an original animal model for this puzzling disease.

WCU Studies ways to reduce mosquito-borne illnesses – La Crosse encephalitis
This time of year, Western North Carolina (WCU) sees cases of La Crosse encephalitis caused from mosquito bites, often in children.
The university is studying new prevention techniques using specialized traps.

Vector borne diseases on rise in India
East Singhbhum is worst hit by Japanese Encephalitis this year.
The SVBDCP has so far tested 457 samples for JE and 25 of them were positive.

Swiss Government Recommending Meningoencephalitis Vaccination for 2019
Cases of tick-borne encephalitis in Switzerland reached a record high in 2018 with 377 cases, reported the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).
Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) can cause severe meningoencephalitis.
In response to this negative trend, the FOPH is recommending vaccination against meningoencephalitis throughout Switzerland during 2019.
This Swiss vaccination program is recommended for both adults and children, who are above the age of six, who are living in or staying in Switzerland.

176 Children Died In Bihar, India Due To Acute Encephalitis This Year; 872 Cases Were Reported
In June, Bihar reported hundreds of cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), resulting into deaths of more than 150 children. The outbreak also exposed state’s poor healthcare facilities and apathy towards the condition of children.
As many as 872 cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) were reported in Bihar in the year 2019. Of 872 reported cases, 176 died of the disease, said State Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a reply to a question in Lok Sabha.
The Japanese Encephalitis also claimed one life while 16 cases of it were reported in the state of Bihar.

Case of West Nile virus in a horse reported in Boaz, AL
The Alabama Department of Public Health said a horse near the city of Boaz in Marshall County has tested positive for West Nile virus.
It is the first reported case of the year in Alabama. The department says one case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis has also been reported in a horse.

DEADLY OUTBREAK Horrific ‘brain fever’ outbreak leaves 152 children dead in India’s poorest state
Youngsters in Bihar, India’s poorest state, are believed to have died of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome, caused by dehydration and malnutrition.
India’s top court ordered an investigation into the outbreak on Monday, after hearing a petition accusing the state and central governments of negligence.
The disease has reached endemic proportions in Muzaffarpur, a poor district of the eastern state of Bihar, which has some of the worst child health statistics anywhere in the world.
The fatalities have occurred in 20 of the state’s 38 districts.

Japanese encephalitis: Life ‘on hold’ for Sophie Williams
The life of a university lecturer who contracted Japanese encephalitis during field work in China has been “on hold” in a home miles away from her partner. Dr Sophie Williams, 35, from Bangor, was bitten by a mosquito in 2015 while researching illegal trade in orchids. She collapsed, and was found by her flatmate. Sophie was transferred from a Chinese hospital to Bangkok where she spent weeks in a coma.
One in three people who develop serious symptoms do not survive.
Since returning to the UK, Sophie has spent time in various hospitals and now lives in a care home for the elderly in Wrexham. She is on a ventilator and needs 24-hour care.

Three West Nile Virus cases reported across Oklahoma
Long-lasting complications of WNV disease can include difficulty concentrating, migraine headaches, extreme muscle weakness and tremors, and paralysis of a limb.

Dane County Resident Dies with State’s First Case of St. Louis encephalitis since 1981
A Dane County resident has died after having the first human case of St. Louis encephalitis in Wisconsin since 1981, health officials said Friday….
“…only six human cases reported in the state since 1964 and no outbreaks ever reported.
Like West Nile, St. Louis encephalitis is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. It is not transmitted person to person, the health department said.”
The virus can cause fever, headache, nausea and fatigue, typically starting five to 15 days after a mosquito bite. In rare cases, it can cause stiff neck, disorientation, tremors, inflammation of the brain and coma. Older adults and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk.

Michigan Sees Human Eastern Equine Encephalitis Case
Eastern equine encephalitis is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S. It can be fatal and often leaves survivors with brain damage.
Southwestern Michigan has experienced outbreaks of the disease in people and horses in the past, with the most recent outbreaks occurring in the early 1980s, mid-1990s and 2010. Health officials say it’s the first human case reported in Michigan since 2016, when three people were infected.

Bedford Man Recovering from West Nile Refuses to Quit
Volunteer work fills his soul. “I think it’s satisfying,” Stockton said. “You’re serving the public.” A devotion to giving back, even after so much was taken from him.
“It kind of flashes in front of your eyes how quickly you can die,” Stockton said.
Alton Stockton faced a long, rocky road in reclaiming his life.
He still couldn’t use his right leg or left shoulder and he had to use a wheelchair.
It was West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease. “Never really worried about it. Mosquitoes never bothered me,” he said. “As you start reading and searching about it, you go…holy! This is a nasty disease.”
“We went through the evaluation and she said, you know, there’s a possible chance you may never get out of the wheelchair,” Stockton recalled of the conversation with Knight. “And I said, you don’t know me. I’m going to get out of the wheelchair.” So he worked and worked some more. Tirelessly. Fearlessly. Strengthening and surviving.

North Carolina Mom Warns Parents After Mosquito Bite Leaves 6-Year-Old Son in ICU:
‘I Want People to Know This Can Happen’ 
A North Carolina mother recently used Facebook to warn parents about La Crosse encephalitis, a virus transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.
“And so it’s breaking all of our hearts to see the spunkiest one out of five brothers down,” LoriAnne Surrett told television station WLOS in Western North Carolina.

World Encephalitis Day – 02/22/18
Initiated by the Encephalitis Society of the UK, this date is set aside each year to raise awareness of this brain disorder. was founded as a U.S. based nonprofit, to also raise awareness, and to directly impact those who live in the U.S.
Encephalitis411 encourages all survivors, caregivers, advocates, and medical professionals to wear RED on February 22nd, and to talk about encephalitis, and to watch our video series to learn more.

Here’s a link to a recent webinar on the emerging field of neuroimmunology by Dr. Amanda Piquet.

Most encephalitis survivors deal with fatigue. This is an interesting article.
Resources: Brain injury-explanation, Rehabilitationcentre de Hoogstraat, Cognitive Therapy (Joke Heins, Rose Sevat, Corine Werkhoven), stroke association of The Netherlands, The rehab group ABI webportal

Respite care notebook for parent caregivers of children
Here’s a link to a respite care notebook for parent caregivers of children with severe illness:

Members of a new UVA institute began planning for action to mitigate infectious disease risks
Microbiology professor Alison Criss and chemistry professor Linda Columbus co-lead UVA’s new Global Infectious Diseases Institute

Wendy Station’s story in Rare Revolution Magazine
Wendy is an encephalitis survivor, as well as Founder and President of Encephalitis Global.