As of Sept. 15, EEE has been confirmed in 22 horses in 10 counties in Michigan. Additional animal cases are under investigation. This is twice as many animal cases as the same time last year. To date, there is one suspected human case in Barry County. There is an EEE vaccine available for horses, but not for people. Protecting horses with approved EEE vaccines is an important prevention measure.
In an effort to prevent spread of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), MDHHS has announced plans to conduct aerial mosquito control treatment in certain high-risk areas of Michigan. To prevent the loss of life and protect public health, MDHHS has determined a targeted aerial treatment plan is necessary. When there are high rates of animal infections, humans are just as at risk.
EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33 percent fatality rate in people who become ill. People can be infected with EEE from one bite of a mosquito carrying the virus. Persons younger than age 15 and over age 50 are at greatest risk of severe disease following infection. More than 25 percent of the nation’s EEE cases last year were diagnosed in Michigan. The risk of bites is highest for people who work and play outdoors in affected areas.