Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been confirmed in an additional horse in St. Joseph County, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports. To help combat the disease, which is carried by mosquitoes, more than 328,000 acres have been sprayed with insecticide dropped from planes.
The most-recent equine case of EEE presented with symptoms on September 23, before the spraying treatments began. To date, nine people have been diagnosed with EEE; four of them have died. Additionally, 34 animals in 15 Michigan counties have been diagnosed with EEE.
Mosquitoes carrying EEE are still active; some were caught in traps set on October 1. Aerial spraying will continue until all areas at risk have been treated or until a hard frost kills the mosquitoes.
EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases, with a 33 percent fatality rate in people, health officials say. Most at risk are people younger than 15 or over 50.
There is a vaccine available for horses, but additional measures such as removing standing water and using insect repellents are encouraged.
Read more at WWJ News Radio 950.
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