Mid-Michigan health expert weighs in on EEE

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LANSING, MI (WILX) - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services suggests cancelling events that happen at night because three people have died from eastern equine encephalitis in Michigan.

Mosquito feeding on a human host, Photo Date: January 23, 2016 / Cropped Photo: Day Donaldson / CC BY 2.0 / (MGN)

Health departments in other counties have encouraged school districts to cancel things like games and practices, especially if they are past dusk.

In our neck of the woods, experts say be cautious but don't panic.

"Should we be concerned about it? We should always be concerned about mosquito-borne and tick-borne diseases. When we see these things like this going on, then sure, we need to be extra vigilant about those things," said Linda Vail, Ingham County Health Officer.

An increase in EEE cases around the state have many communities on edge, but mosquito bites are pretty much inevitable when you live in Mid-Michigan.

"You're always going to get bit by mosquitoes. Something is going to get past no matter what. Germs manifest in everything, but I don't think it is right to suddenly start closing down or stopping events," said Connie Wilson, Bellevue resident.

Even after seven confirmed cases in Michigan, authorities say it's still safe to go out with proper protection.

"We're seeing an uptick which gives us reason to be somewhat concerned and making sure the public is aware, but I think everybody needs to keep in mind they still are very rare," said Vail.

"Yes, it is a concern and it should be. It doesn't matter what the number is, but I don't think you should make it to where everybody is paranoid to go outside," said Wilson.

Unfortunately, this problem is not over yet.

Mosquitoes typically don't go away until the first frost of the season.

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