A potentially deadly mosquito-borne virus has been detected in Michigan, officials said.

State health officials announced Tuesday that a Barry County resident is suspected of having the rare virus Eastern equine encephalitis, also commonly known as EEE, the Detroit Free Press reported.

If tests come back positive, the patient will be the first case in Michigan this year of the dangerous infection.

The virus is spread by infected mosquitos and can cause inflammation of the brain, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Early symptoms include fever, chills, body and joint aches which then can progress to headache, disorientation, tremors, seizures and paralysis, officials said.

One-third of those infected with EEE die, while survivors typically suffer from mild to severe brain damage, the CDC said.

And there’s no treatment for the deadly infection.

“Antibiotics are not effective against viruses, and no effective antiviral drugs have been discovered,” the agency said. “Severe illnesses are treated by supportive therapy which may include hospitalization, respiratory support, IV fluids, and prevention of other infections.”

Health officials are urging residents in 10 counties — Barry, Clare, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo and Oakland — to refrain from outdoor events that take place at or after dusk to prevent more people from contracting the virus, the newspaper reported.



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