The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed that 22 horses in 10 counties have Eastern Equine Encephaliti.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis can be deadly to humans and needs to be avoided. With a 33% fatality rate for those who get very sick Andsevere brian damage for those that do survive, this is a very serious threat. Last year, Michigan had 10 cases of EEE.  Six of those people died.  So that’s why we need to go the extra mile and protect ourselves.

Symptoms of Eastern Equine Encephaliti

The issue is not everyone will show symptoms.  Only about 4-5% will get chills, fever, weakness, muscle and joint pain.  The good news is that those who show symptoms are likely to recover quickly.  But there is a small percentage – less than 1% – that will develop a severe neurologic illness.  Their symptoms can include headache, irritability, drowsiness, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, and coma. Kids younger than 15 and older adults are most likely to die from EEE.

How do you protect yourself from EEE

All it takes is one bite so here is my advice:

  • Use EPA-registered insect repellent. They contain ingredients like DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol.
  • Read the ingredients and warnings and never let children administer it themselves.
  • Avoid outdoor time after dusk as that is when mosquitos are most active.
  • Wear long pants and shirts to prevent skin contact.
  • Check and get rid of any standing water.
  • Check your screens and enforce them to keep bugs outside

The state will begin aerial mosquito control treatment in high-risk areas, which includes Oakland County, is it safe for humans to breathe in?

Over 557,000 Michigan acres were treated last year and no one showed any health effects. The state uses an ultra-low volume spray of an approved pesticide that contains 5% pyrethrins. If you have sensitivities to pyrethrins, you can reduce your exposure by staying indoors during treatment.  And currently, the plan is to spray in the early even through dawn.

Mosquito-related disease doubles in 2020