Eastern Equine Encephalitis spreads to Genesee County

Thursday, 03 Oct, 2019

The third person in the state to die of EEE this year was from Hampden County, officials said.

LANSING, Mich- Due to the growing concern surrounding Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in MI, the Department of Health and Human Services and 12 local health departments will be doing aerial spraying to prevent further spread of the mosquito-borne disease.

EEE is spread only through mosquitos and can be diagnosed though a blood test. People are being advised to contact health care professionals with questions or concerns.

To protect against EEE as well as West Nile Virus, health officials advise using repellent, wearing long sleeves and trousers, installing and repairing window and door screens, and emptying containers of standing water and frequently changing pets' water bowls.

No human cases of EEE have been found in Kent County, officials said. There have been nine reported human cases in MI so far, three of them fatal.

They are a mixture of six chemicals that are toxic to insects.

Two people have died from EEE. Most recently, spraying took place in Chester Township on September 16.

"We believe that this is another tool that we can use to protect health", said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state's chief medical executive. Only people with sensitivities to pyrethrins should consider staying indoors during the hours of spraying.

Local schools are continuing to follow advisories from MDHHS about postponing or rescheduling nighttime outdoor activities, particularly high school football games, until the first hard frost occurs.

EEE is one of the most risky mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33 percent fatality rate in people who become ill. The disease is most common in the eastern half of the United States and is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.

The public is urged to preserve faraway from mosquito bites by wearing trojan horse repellant and lengthy-sleeved clothing, in step with DPH. Signs of EEE include the sudden onset of fever, chills, body and joint aches which can progress to severe encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).