The State of Michigan, Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), has issued a press release on September 17, reminding residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites as four additional cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) have been confirmed in humans in Southwest Michigan.
The new cases expand the geographic area affected by human EEE cases to include Barry, Cass and Van Buren counties, along with previously identified cases in Kalamazoo and Berrien counties. Two of these additional cases, in Cass and Van Buren counties, were fatal, as was one earlier case in Kalamazoo County.
According to the MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy “Michigan is currently experiencing its worst Eastern Equine Encephalitis outbreak in more than a decade. The ongoing cases reported in humans and animals and the severity of this disease illustrate the importance of taking precautions against mosquito bites.”
The MDHHS recommends that Michigan residents stay healthy by following these steps to avoid mosquito bites:
- Apply 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.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
- Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
- Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.
- Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.
For more information, all employees are encouraged to review the original MDHSS press release linked here.