TUSCOLA COUNTY, MI – A home in Tuscola County tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).
The Tuscola County Health Department reported Monday, September 28, that the horse in Tuscola County was not vaccinated, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Michigan Department of Health.
EEE is a mosquito-borne disease with a 33 percent death rate, according to the MDHHS. People can be infected with electrical and electronic equipment from a bite from a mosquito that carries the virus.
People under the age of 15 and over 50 are at greatest risk for serious illness. More than 25 percent of EEE cases in the US were diagnosed in Michigan.
EEE has been confirmed in a total of 34 animals – 32 horses and two deer – in 14 Michigan counties.
The air sprays conducted by the state last week to curb the spread of electrical and electronic equipment covered more than 462,000 acres in parts of 17 counties including Clare, Genesee, Oakland, Livingston, Gladwin and Isabella.
One confirmed human case has been reported in Barry County.
An EEE vaccine is available for horses, but not humans.
Residents can take the following steps to reduce the chance of infection:
– Use an insect repellant that contains DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Lemon Eucalyptus Oil on exposed skin / clothing outdoors. The repellants / insecticides permethrin can be used on clothing to protect through multiple washes. Always follow the instructions.
– Wear protective clothing: long sleeves and pants.
– Install and repair window grilles to keep the mosquitos out.
– Prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs near you. Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by draining stagnant water from flower pots, buckets, barrels and tires. Change your pet’s water frequently.
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