Savannah DeHart, 14 (photo), from South Portage, Michigan, had a headache earlier this month
A Michigan teenager is in a hospital and is fighting for her life after allegedly contracting a rare mosquito-borne disease.
Savannah DeHart, 14, from South Portage, suffered from a simple headache earlier this month.
Within a few days she could no longer breathe independently and eventually had to be placed on the ventilator, reported News 8.
Doctors at the Bronson Children's Hospital in Kalamazoo told her parents that they believe she has Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).
She is the last in a series of people to report the infection, including a Massachusetts woman who died on Saturday and a man from the same state who fell into a coma this month.
Savannah's mother, Kerri Dooley, told News 8 that she was shocked because her daughter's symptoms were visible so quickly.
& # 39; She's just lying there a bit. Her brain is trying to heal herself and she can't do anything until that happens, & said Dooley.
& # 39; It has probably been the worst time of my life. I almost saw my daughter "check out". & # 39;
EEE is a rare disease caused by a virus transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes.
It was first discovered in Massachusetts in 1831 and usually affects about an equal number of horses and people every year: about five to ten.
The majority of cases occur between late spring and early fall along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states
Most people do not develop symptoms, but those who do can experience chills, fever, headache and vomiting.
Occasionally, the disease can cause epileptic seizures or life-threatening brain swelling (encephalitis).
There is no cure and treatments consist of supportive therapy such as respiratory support and IV fluids.
About a third of those with EEE die from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Within a few days, she had trouble breathing and was taken to Bronson Children & # 39; s Hospital in Kalamazoo. Doctors told her parents that they believe she has Eastern horse encephalitis. Pictured, left and right: Savannah with her stepfather, Rodney Dooley
The rare mosquito-borne virus reportedly infected three people in Michigan this year, including Savannah, and kills one in every three people who fall. Pictured: Savannah & # 39; s arm around a hug at the hospital
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced on Monday that it was investigating three suspect cases, and Savannah is one of them.
She is currently undergoing additional tests to confirm that she has EEE.
Dooley had provided updates about her daughter's condition on a Facebook page with the title #SavannahStrong.
She wrote Tuesday that doctors have inserted a feeding probe into Savannah & # 39; s stomach and that she has difficulty breathing, but she continues with physiotherapy.
& # 39; She could keep her head alone for a few minutes, which is huge for this mother, & # 39; Dooley wrote.
WOOD reported that as soon as Savannah's condition improves, she will be transferred to the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids.
The family has started one Facebook fundraising to cover medical expenses. Starting Wednesday night, more than $ 2,500 has been raised from a $ 10,000 goal.
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