Already Worse than Last Year
Last year, Michigan experienced the worst outbreak of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) ever recorded. This year is looking like it will be worse. As of yesterday, 18 cases were confirmed through 8 counties. This is double those reported last year in only 3 counties. Cases have been reported in Barry, Clare, Isabella, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo, and Oakland.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development highly suggests vaccinating horses, using strong fans in barns from evening and throughout the night when mosquitoes are most active, animal safe insect repellents and eliminating mosquito breeding grounds of standing water where possible.
Signs in horses include fever, difficulty walking or standing, and seizures which eventually lead to death.
Vaccination is the Best Way To Protect Your Horse
Vaccination is the best way to protect your horse because this vaccine is over 95% effective. Un-vaccinated horses, on the other hand, that become infected with EEE, only have a 10% chance of survival.
In People, EEE Causes Long-Term Health Effects
Even if you do not own horses, EEE can still affect you as mosquitoes transmit this disease to both people and horses. Take precautions to protect yourself and others from mosquitoes. In people EEE can cause brain swelling resulting in symptoms ranging from a headache to seizures and even death.
For more information on how to protect yourself and your horses from EEE, please visit the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at https://www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125-1572_28248_50968-539057–,00.html