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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 3:30 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2019 3:30 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."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48626

Reported Deaths: 2717
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11723689
Lake5212244
Elkhart332051
Allen2815132
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Cass16399
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Johnson1288117
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Parke230
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Union130
Pike110
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 58904

Reported Deaths: 2970
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10587431
Cuyahoga8048379
Hamilton6158204
Lucas2788303
Marion273439
Pickaway220141
Summit2175207
Montgomery213431
Mahoning1849238
Butler163747
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Medina53632
Lake50819
Licking49612
Miami47231
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Wood43651
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Richland3475
Allen32341
Mercer2879
Greene2769
Darke25326
Erie24622
Holmes2393
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Ottawa15024
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Crawford1365
Washington13520
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Putnam12915
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Auglaize1074
Jefferson912
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Hancock791
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Preble781
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