Kalamazoo. MI (WXYZ) — A teenager from Michigan is in critical condition nearly two months after being diagnosed with Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
Savannah DeHart, a 14-year-old who lives near Kalamazoo, was diagnosed with the disease back in August.
Her parents say the symptoms started with a headache, and by the next morning, she needed a ventilator to breathe.
After weeks in intensive care, doctors say her condition is improving, but she is still on a ventilator.
There have been 10 confirmed human cases of EEE this year and four deaths due to the virus.
EEE is the most dangerous mosquito-borne disease in the U.S., with a 33 percent fatality rate.
Health officials advise people to follow these guidelines to protect themselves:
Avoiding being outdoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitos that carry the EEE virus are most active.
Applying insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered product to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
Maintaining window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
Emptying water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.
Using nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.
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