August 27, 2010
As the Michigan Department of Community Health confirmed a third case of the mosquito-borne disease Eastern Equine Encephalitis, state Reps. John Proos and Tonya Schuitmaker offered tips to protect families from this serious infection.
This is a very serious concern for our area and we must take the proper precautions,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The danger is very real, and tips are available on my website to provide your family every possible precaution.”
Kalamazoo County has experienced two human cases of EEE and recently another human case of EEE was found in Barry County. Horses have been infected in other counties, including Barry, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph.
The Michigan Department of Community Health offers the following tips to protect your family from Eastern Equine Encephalitis:
Use repellent: When outdoors, use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and/or clothing. The repellent/insecticide permethrin can be used on clothing to protect through several washes. Always follow the directions on the product label.
Stay indoors when mosquitoes are biting: Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn.
Wear protective clothing: Wear long sleeves and pants when weather permits.
Install and repair screens: Have secure, intact screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
Keep mosquitoes from laying eggs near you: Mosquitoes can lay eggs even in small amounts of standing water. Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets, barrels and tires. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Empty children’s wading pools and store on their side after use.
“It’s important we take the MDCH precautions seriously to prevent more people from becoming severely ill,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton.
According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, EEE is one of the most dangerous diseases in the U.S., killing one third of those hospitalized with the infection, and often leaving survivors with lasting brain damage.
For updates on equine and human cases of EEE and other mosquito-borne diseases in Michigan, visit the Emerging Diseases website at http://www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases.