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 12:30 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2019 12:30 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."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 41739

Reported Deaths: 653
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah9055160
Marion5733108
Washington568175
Umatilla334444
Clackamas308165
Lane232627
Malheur190938
Jackson16506
Deschutes111013
Yamhill98515
Linn79815
Polk64815
Jefferson6039
Morrow5436
Lincoln51513
Union4652
Benton4366
Klamath4083
Wasco34715
Douglas3455
Hood River2771
Josephine2633
Columbia2561
Clatsop2410
Coos2360
Baker1143
Crook1032
Tillamook700
Curry571
Wallowa422
Lake340
Harney230
Sherman180
Gilliam110
Grant110
Wheeler10
Unassigned00
Eugene
Scattered Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 52°
Corvallis
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 50°
Roseburg
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 57°
North Bend
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 57°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events