Autumn climate, air remedy may combat mosquito illness

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Associated Press

Lansing – The cooler temperatures expected this weekend should help control the spread of a mosquito-borne virus that has infected one person in Barry County and 22 horses in 10 counties, Michigan authorities said Friday.

Horses can be vaccinated against the disease known as eastern equine encephalitis, but there is no equivalent for humans.

Authorities said reducing exposure to mosquitoes is the best way to prevent infection in humans, including insect repellent, wearing long sleeves or pants outdoors, and using screens on doors and windows to keep mosquitos out.

Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services has also applied aerial spray treatment to more than 226,000 acres to help prevent the disease from spreading, including 69,000 acres treated Thursday.

The department said nighttime temperatures below 50 degrees this weekend should keep mosquitoes that carry the disease inactive. But they said residents should continue to take precautions until a hard frost breaks out.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 38 human cases and 19 deaths from the virus last year, and authorities in several northeastern states warned residents this summer that the disease had been discovered in mosquitoes.

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