First human case of EEE virus reported in WI this year

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
Young Eau Claire County girl confirmed to have first human case of EEE virus this year.

State and local public health officials are reminding residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites following the announcement of the first reported human case of eastern equine encephalitis this year.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and the Eau Claire County Health Department announced that laboratory testing has confirmed that a female Eau Claire County resident was infected with the virus. The patient is under the age of 18, according to the news release.

As a result, DHS and Eau Claire County Health Department are asking residents to use mosquito repellent any time they are outside.

The news of a human case of EEE comes after the state announced last week that horses in three northwestern Wisconsin counties were infected with the virus. EEE virus is a rare, but potentially fatal disease that can affect people of all ages.

In Wisconsin, the last human case of EEE was reported in 2017. EEE can be spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes acquire EEE virus by feeding on infected birds. The virus is not spread person to person or directly between animals and humans.