Published October 09, 2007
A 35-year-old British man is in a coma and fighting for his life after contracting a rare mosquito illness while vacationing in New Hampshire, London's Evening Standard reports.
Michael Nicholson, a decorator from Livingston in Scotland, celebrated his birthday a few weeks ago with a fishing trip to the New England state.
While visiting the U.S., Nicholson suffered numerous mosquito bites, mostly on his ankles. After returning home, he began exhibiting signs of Eastern Equine Encephalitis or EEE as it is more commonly known.
EEE is fatal in about 35 percent of all cases. A handful of Americans contract the disease each year. The virus is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. Symptoms range from mild flu-like symptoms to encephalitis — inflammation of the brain — coma and death.
In September 2006, a 9-year-old Middleborough, Mass. boy died after contracting the disease. If Nicholson recovers, he may be left with severe brain damage, the Evening Standard reports.