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10th case of EEE confirmed, health officials complete aerial spraying

The 10th case of EEE was confirmed in a Cass County resident.

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has confirmed a 10th human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) Tuesday. 

The announcements come as health officials completed the planned aerial spraying treatment in 14 counties most impacted by EEE. More than 557,000 acres were treated to fight the spread of the rare, dangerous mosquito-borne disease. 

So far, EEE has been confirmed in 10 people with four fatalities. Cases occurred in Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties.

Additionally, the health department said Tuesday that more cases in horses were confirmed in Jackson, Kent and Tuscola counties. There have now been 39 animal cases of EEE. 

“In one year, we have had more human EEE cases confirmed than in the past decade,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for MDHHS. “We chose to conduct aerial treatment to protect the health and safety of Michiganders. We also continue to urge communities and residents to take precautions against mosquito bites as the risk of EEE remains until the first hard frost.” 

RELATED: First frost of the season looms

Although the weather is cooler, the mosquitoes that spread EEE are still active. Mosquitoes were caught in traps set Oct. 1 in southwest Michigan. Residents should 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 kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.
  • Using nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas. 

More information is available at Michigan.gov/EEE.  

FAQs about EEE and aerial spraying

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