Nov 19, 2019
One southwest Michigan farmer dies, another farmer stable following EEE virus

According to South Bend, Indiana, television station WNDU, another deadly case of the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus has hit southwestern Michigan.

Jim Whitright, an Eau Claire, Michigan, farmer many knew as “Tiny,” died Nov. 16 from apparent complications related to the mosquito-borne virus, confirmed the St. Joseph County (Ind.) Coroner’s Office. Whitright passed away at Memorial Hospital.

Jim Whitright

A family friend, who was operating Whitright’s GoFundMe page, also confirmed his death with 16 News Now.

Whitright’s visitation will take place Friday, Nov. 22, from noon to 1 p.m. at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Sodus. A funeral service will follow. Bowerman Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Whitright and fellow Eau Claire farmer Bill Teichman, owner of Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm, both contracted the serious illness late in the summer.

Teichman’s sister-in-law confirmed to WNDU he has been home for three weeks and is stable, exhibiting slight improvements in movement and speech.

EEE has fatality rate of roughly 33 percent in people. The Berrien County Health Department said EEE is not a risk at this time. Recommendations for EEE safety can be found by clicking here.

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