A fifth death due to Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been confirmed in a Cass County resident and an additional horse has been diagnosed with the disease in Allegan County, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday afternoon.

Family members identified the latest human victim as 72-year-old Henry Hess who died on Friday, October 12th after a three week battle with EEE. A Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson said Hess began showing symptoms on September 30th. Hess' family say he served in the Army during the Korean War.

And although frost is predicted in parts of the state, the MDHHS continues to urge residents to take precautions against mosquitoes. The risk of EEE will continue until there has been a sustained period of freezing temperatures, according to the chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for MDHHS.

The latest animal case confirmed in Allegan County showed symptoms of the disease on October 1. Parts of Allegan County were treated October 3 and 6. In total, EEE has been confirmed in 10 people, with five of those being fatal. Human cases have been confirmed in Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties.

In addition, EEE been confirmed in 40 animals from 16 counties: Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Genesee, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lapeer, Livingston, Montcalm, Newaygo, St. Joseph, Tuscola and Van Buren.

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