Dangerous EEE Cases Building
The state is reporting five new cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis are verified. We have more verified cases in horses than this time last year. And the locations are more widespread. Last year only three counties were hit at this point in the year with verified cases. This year, it's already at 8. North Central Michigan is showing up now where none were reported in that region of the state last year. State Agriculture Department doctors say if you own horses and they aren’t vaccinated, you need to give that more than strong consideration. While a vaccine is available for horses, none is available for humans.
Triple-E is considered one of the most dangerous diseases, actually a virus, that is transmitted by mosquitos. The virus can kill horses and people. in humans, the typical death rate is about one-third of those who contract the virus. The only way we are able to prevent contracting the virus is to prevent being bitten by a mosquito. There are lots of ways to accomplish that although only the obvious is the most effective - staying closed up indoors with no access for mosquitos to reach you.
Horse and animal owners, along with the vaccine option, have some control measures that can be used. One of the more commonly recommended by experts is to keep horses, livestock, and even dogs in enclosed areas with fans going. Mosquitos have a hard time getting airborne against even a moderate breeze. The Triple-E danger lasts until around mid-October, or after we’ve experienced two hard frosts. For more information about EEE and other diseases and viruses in Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/EmergingDiseases.