Dengue fever report from Florida. Eastern Equine Encephalitis reports from Florida (2), Massachusetts, and Michigan.

Florida 07/22/10  by Marc Valero – Sebring – The summertime annoyance of biting mosquitoes has increasingly become a concern in Florida with one death and a number of cases of mosquito-borne illnesses. Statewide one county is under an “alert” and 11 counties an “advisory” for mosquito-borne illness. No mosquito-related illnesses have been reported in Highlands County, but cases of eastern equine encephalitis and dengue fever have occurred recently in Central Florida. A woman in northern Hillsborough County died this month from eastern equine encephalitis, the Hillsborough County Health Department said Tuesday. This is the first death in the state from the disease since 2008. The Florida Department of Health reports five cases of dengue fever in Central Florida: one in Seminole, two in Orange, one in Marion and one in Osceola counties. This year, 17 cases of dengue have been reported in Key West, according to the FDOH. The last outbreak in the state was in 1934. There have been no reported cases of dengue fever, West Nile Virus nor eastern equine encephalitis in Highlands County, Leona Braithwaite, Highlands County Health Department epidemiologist, said Wednesday. It’s considered an outbreak in Monroe County, she said.

Florida 07/23/10 by Heather Biance – A family member has confirmed for WCTV that the man who died from EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) in Sopchoppy, Florida this month was James Henry Burge, JR.   James who also went by J.B. passed away on July 10th at a Tallahassee hospital.   Family members say he was an avid outdoorsman and was a retired postal worker.

Massachusetts 07/24/10  by Elizabeth Cooney – The death of a horse infected with Eastern equine encephalitis could signal a severe year for the disease, which is spread by mosquitoes and can be lethal to humans, public health officials warned yesterday.  A 7-month-old stallion in Middleborough was euthanized Wednesday, a day after showing symptoms. The state Department of Public Health confirmed the infection yesterday as Eastern equine encephalitis.  A horse also died of the disease last September, although there were no human cases last year.  A horse death this early in the season, combined with early evidence of infected mosquitoes, raises the level of concern, said state epidemiologist Dr. Alfred DeMaria. There were 13 human cases and six deaths from 2004 through 2006 and one case in 2007-2008.  “We are seeing early indicators that lead us to believe this may be a bad EEE year,’’ he said in a statement. “Evidence of EEE-infected mosquitoes and a horse with EEE this early in the season is similar to what we saw in 2006, and we had five human cases that year. We urge people to take this seriously and do what they need to do to protect themselves and their families.’’

Michigan 07/26/10  Lansing – Michigan authorities say a viral brain disease that can kill humans has been confirmed in three horses this year in the state.  Mosquitoes can spread eastern equine encephalitis to horses and humans, and authorities say people should use repellant or stay out of areas with heavy mosquito infestations. The departments of Community Health and Agriculture said today that Michigan State University confirms a 3-month-old filly from Calhoun County and a 12-month-old male from Barry County tested positive for the illness.  One other horse case was confirmed last week in Cass County.  The state says there are several horses in Cass County “highly suspect” for the disease.


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