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Mosquito-borne virus victim went from healthy to brain dead in 9 days

A Michigan man went from healthy to brain dead in just nine days after contracting Eastern equine encephalitis, his brother said.

Posted: Sep 18, 2019 2:30 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2019 2:30 PM

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, Mark McChesney told CNN affiliate WOOD.

"...Within a matter of nine days he went from perfectly healthy to brain dead," Mark McChesney said. "All of a sudden he had a seizure and next thing you know, he's in the ER and he just never came out of it."

Mark McChesney said he was working with his brother less than a month before that trip to the emergency room.

"Late July, he was here at the farm helping me put docks in at the pond," Mark McChesney told the station.

He remembered his brother as a man who loved life, who scared off a bear when they were backpacking and who gave a 25-minute toast at his little brother's wedding -- though he was a man of few words, the station reported.

"Right off the bat, we were like, 'How could this happen? What did happen?'" Mark McChesney told the station of his brother's illness. "We just didn't know and the doctors were just doing everything they could to try to say it was this or that, and they just couldn't figure it out."

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday confirmed four additional cases of Eastern equine encephalitis in Southwest Michigan, including two deaths. The state has confirmed seven total cases this year, including three deaths, officials said.

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.

"Michigan is currently experiencing its worst Eastern Equine Encephalitis outbreak in more than a decade," Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the department's chief medical executive and chief deputy for health, said in a news release. "The ongoing cases reported in humans and animals and the severity of this disease illustrate the importance of taking precautions against mosquito bites."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35419

Reported Deaths: 1230
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds290851
DeSoto190019
Madison144638
Jones120349
Harrison113616
Rankin108715
Neshoba104577
Forrest99343
Lauderdale96381
Scott81915
Jackson77519
Washington72213
Copiah65315
Leake63520
Lee61222
Oktibbeha61128
Grenada5949
Warren59421
Holmes58641
Wayne56218
Yazoo5536
Lowndes54813
Lamar5347
Leflore53156
Lincoln52935
Pike49920
Lafayette4974
Sunflower4778
Monroe45635
Panola4486
Covington4355
Bolivar40518
Simpson3933
Attala38424
Newton37510
Tate35213
Adams35120
Pontotoc3466
Marion32712
Claiborne30111
Chickasaw29719
Winston29511
Pearl River28832
Noxubee2788
Jasper2776
Marshall2773
Walthall2627
Clay25811
Union25211
Smith24612
Clarke22325
Coahoma2226
Lawrence2092
Yalobusha2079
Tallahatchie1954
Kemper18414
Carroll18111
Montgomery1713
Calhoun1645
Humphreys16310
Itawamba1468
Tippah14511
Hancock14413
Webster13411
Jefferson1263
Tunica1233
Jefferson Davis1204
Prentiss1204
George1163
Greene11310
Amite1103
Alcorn1002
Quitman991
Wilkinson989
Tishomingo971
Perry874
Choctaw754
Stone742
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton460
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6433170
Mobile4753139
Montgomery4430112
Tuscaloosa263253
Madison21199
Marshall192611
Shelby164225
Lee157237
Morgan12695
Baldwin120711
Walker106131
Elmore102920
Dallas9969
Etowah95114
DeKalb9417
Franklin93216
Autauga67614
Russell6750
Chambers67427
Unassigned65328
Butler65129
Tallapoosa62869
Limestone6223
Houston5857
Cullman5716
Lauderdale5686
St. Clair5133
Colbert4956
Calhoun4905
Lowndes48122
Escambia4808
Pike4725
Coffee4244
Jackson4182
Covington41412
Barbour3942
Dale3911
Talladega3897
Bullock37710
Marengo35211
Hale34823
Chilton3232
Clarke3126
Wilcox3038
Blount2961
Winston2965
Sumter29113
Marion27514
Pickens2696
Randolph2589
Monroe2553
Perry2362
Conecuh2308
Bibb2211
Macon2159
Choctaw21212
Greene1959
Henry1533
Washington1418
Crenshaw1273
Lawrence1250
Cherokee1237
Geneva960
Lamar871
Clay852
Fayette821
Coosa651
Cleburne421
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