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Fourth person dies in Michigan from mosquito-borne virus

Mosquito bite
CDC Public Health Image Library (PHIL) via Wikimedia | Public Domain

A fourth Michigan resident has died from rare mosquito-borne virus that has been recorded across the southern half of the state.

WWMT-TV reports that 79-year-old Stan Zalner of Battle Creek died Wednesday after contracting eastern equine encephalitis.

Ronna Bagent says that her father was hospitalized in September with severe flu-like symptoms before doctors were able to confirm the illness through blood tests.

Nine cases have bene confirmed in six southern or southwestern Michigan counties. More than 30 animals -- including 18 horses -- in more than a dozen counties also have died from the disease.

State health officials say low-flying aircraft are expected to spray pesticides Wednesday in Calhoun and 10 other counties. The pesticides kill adult mosquitoes on contact.