Sep 25, 2019Threat of EEE forces Michigan to reschedule football games
At least 20 Michigan high schools have rescheduled football games amid growing concerns over a mosquito-borne virus.
Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) has already killed three people across Michigan, and the virus has been found in other humans and animals, according to MLive.com. On Tuesday, the state Department of Health and Human Services asked local leaders to consider rescheduling or postponing outdoor activities.
So far, nearly two dozen schools have rescheduled their Friday football games, kicking off at 5 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. The earlier start times allow for games to finish before the period when mosquitoes are most active.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all residents of and visitors to areas where EEE virus activity has been identified are at risk of infection. People who engage in outdoor work and recreational activities in endemic areas are at increased risk of infection. Persons over age 50 and under age 15 seem to be at greatest risk for developing severe disease when infected with the EEE virus. Overall, only about 4-5% of human EEE virus infections result in EEE.
Severe cases of EEE virus infection (EEE, involving encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain) begin with the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting, according to the CDC. The illness may then progress into disorientation, seizures, and coma. Approximately one-third of patients who develop EEE die, and many of those who survive have mild to severe brain damage.