BARRY CO. (WLNS)–The Barry-Eaton District Health Department was notified on Thursday, September 3, of a horse in Barry County that had died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).
This is the first confirmed animal case of EEE in Barry County this year. No other animal or human cases of EEE have been confirmed in Eaton or Barry County at this time, however 13 confirmed cases in horses in five Michigan counties have been reported to date. EEE cannot be spread between animals or between animals and humans, but humans can get EEE through the bite of an infected mosquito.
According to health experts, Most (95-96%) cases of human EEE do not cause any symptoms, and less than 1% develop serious illness. However, EEE is potentially serious and symptoms include fever, weakness, and muscle and joint pain. More severe illness can cause swelling of the brain
and surrounding tissues. Anyone can be affected by EEE, but persons over age 60 and under age 15 are at greatest risk for developing severe disease.
If you plan to spend time outdoors, BEDHD encourages residents to continue to protect themselves
from mosquito bites by:
- Avoiding being outdoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitos that carry the EEE virus are most active.
- Applying insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered product to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
- Maintaining window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
- Emptying water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kids pools, old tires, or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.