LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The first case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in Eaton County this year has been detected.

According to State Veterinarian Nora Wineland, the case of EEE was found in a two-year-old Paint cross gelding.

The gelding started showing neurologic signs of EEE on Sept. 8. The horse was not vaccinated against EEE and was euthanized based upon the severity of his condition.

EEE is a viral disease that is passed through mosquito bites to animals and people and cannot be spread from horse-to-horse or horse-to-human contact.

Mosquitoes remain active until the first hard freeze when temperatures fall below 28 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wineland says that the case shows that the virus is present in the area’s mosquitoes.

Here are some ways that you can protect your livestock from EEE:

  • Place livestock in a barn under fans from dusk until dawn, which is peak mosquito activity
  • Get rid of standing water on your property
  • Use an insect repellant on animals
  • Contact a vet to get horses vaccinated against EEE, and other mosquito-related illnesses

EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S. with a 90% fatality rate among horses that become ill and a 33% fatality rate among humans who become ill.

Currently, there are no reported cases of EEE in humans.