MDHHS spraying for mosquitoes to combat EEE virus

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 6:04 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - State health officials will use planes to spray high-risk areas in order to stop the spread of the Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

EEE is a rare, deadly virus that is transmitted to horses, deer and humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33 percent fatality rate in people who become ill and a 90 percent fatality rate in horses that become ill. Signs of EEE include the sudden onset of fever, chills, body and joint aches. EEE can develop into severe encephalitis, resulting in headache, disorientation, tremors, seizures and paralysis. Permanent brain damage, coma and death may also occur in some cases. The JCHD recommends that anyone who develops any of these signs seek medical attention immediately.

Michigan is beginning to experience widespread animal activity of EEE. The activity is occurring mostly in the Mid-Michigan area between Grand Rapids and Clare. So far, the deadly mosquito-borne disease has been confirmed in 22 horses in 10 Michigan counties. That’s twice as many animal cases as this time last year.

The treatment is expected to begin Wednesday in Jackson county.

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