The family of a holidaymaker left in a coma after being bitten by a mosquito bearing a deadly virus has called for greater awareness of the dangers to tourists in the US.

Michael Nicholson from West Lothian, contracted the little known Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus from a mosquito bite while on a fishing holiday in New Hampshire.

He is being treated in Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital and faces the prospect of severe disabilities. The disease has a 35% mortality rate.

Nicholson’s sister Sharan McKenzie, said British tourists heading to the US were given no official advice about the dangers of the virus.

McKenzie said: “There is no cure and there is no vaccine, so all you can do is try and prevent yourself being bitten.

“You don’t think there is going to be a risk if you get bitten by a mosquito in somewhere such as the US or Spain. We had no idea this would be so devastating.”

Mr Nicholson spent six weeks with family and friends in Rhode Island and New Hampshire this summer. He became sick on August 31, a day after flying back to Scotland.