A 10th person has died from rare EEE infection

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported on Wednesday there's been a fourth death in the commonwealth from Eastern equine encephalitis, bringing the nationwide total to 10 deaths.

This year alone, four Michigan residents have died from the EEE virus.

The rare mosquito borne-illness has at least nine confirmed human cases in several southern Michigan counties.

But could the virus make its way to Mid-Michigan, especially with all the heavy rainfall we've had?

"It's a lesser risk, but the risk is still evident," said Rebecca Brandt, manager of Bay County Mosquito Control.

Brandt said the potential for EEE to appear in Mid-Michigan is there but due to our area's habitat, the risk is less likely.

While standing water may still be around, Brandt said it's not as much of an issue during the fall.

"For this time of year, your standing water isn't a concern mosquito-wise,” Brandt said. “Once spring comes around again, that's when we need to pay attention to standing water."

Despite the rainfall, Brandt said mosquito activity is going to be lower because of the change in weather.

According to the TV5 weather team, the first fall freeze on average occurs during late September to mid-October.

And the first widespread freeze usually takes place in the later days of October.

But Brandt says until then, being prepared ahead of time is your safest option.

"You need to wear insect repellent, wear long sleeves, wear long pants,” Brandt said. “Because although the risk has lessened for this mosquito transmitted disease, the risk is still there until we have a hard frost."

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