One Eau Claire farmer dies, other farmer stable following EEE virus

Published: Nov. 18, 2019 at 1:33 PM EST
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Another deadly case of the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus hits southwestern Michigan.

Jim Whitright, an Eau Claire farmer, died Saturday from apparent complications related to the mosquito-borne virus, confirmed the St. Joseph County (Ind.) Coroner's Office. Whitright passed away at Memorial Hospital.

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, November 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 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