Rare mosquito-borne virus in Michigan; 10 counties urged to cancel outside events after evening

DETROIT – A Michigan adult suspected of having the rare and dangerous mosquito-borne virus Eastern Equine Encephalitis, health officials announced Tuesday.

Suspicious mosquito-borne virus urges cancellation of external event



The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services now urges people in 10 Michigan counties – Barry, Claire, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Maxta, Montcalm, Nuego and Oakland – to cancel or postpone outdoor events that evening On or after. Preventing more people from infecting the virus, which is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes. The adult suspected of having the virus is from Barry County.

Also known as Triple E, the virus is one of the deadliest mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33% fatality rate among people who become ill. This leaves many survivors with physical and mental disabilities. It kills 90% of the sick horses from the virus. So far this year, 22 horses in 10 counties have been urged to rule out outside incidents, with cases of the virus confirmed.

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“MDHHS continues to encourage local authorities in affected counties to reschedule, cancel or cancel outdoor activities that occur after dusk, or to include children in particular, reducing the chances of people being bitten by mosquitoes Is, “Dr. Jong Khaldun, said. Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy for Health at MDHHS, in a statement.

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If the suspected human case is confirmed through lab testing later this week, it will be the first in Michigan with EEE this year.

Last year, EEE infected 38 people in the US – more than in any previous year since it has been tracked by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In a typical year, there are seven cases at the national level.

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Children under 15 years of age, adults over 50 years of age are most at risk

In Michigan alone in 2019, six people died, and four others were hospitalized. Three of the survivors of EEE infection in the state “have serious neurologic issues and continue to receive supportive care,” said Lynn Sutfin, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. , In a previous interview with the Free Press.

Signs of EEE infection include fever, chills, sudden onset of body and joint pain that can progress to a severe encephalitis, resulting in headaches, disorientation, tremors, seizures, and paralysis.

Children under 15 years of age and those above 50 years of age are at greatest risk for developing serious illness from the EEE virus. There is no vaccine, no treatment and no cure for EEE. Doctors can only offer adjuvant therapy to help patients breathe, receive fluids and nutrition, and prevent other infections.

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Anyone who thinks they are experiencing these symptoms should seek medical care. In some cases permanent brain damage, coma and death may also occur.

MDHHS announced earlier this week that it would begin spraying pesticides in 10 counties, where EEE cases in horses have been identified to control mosquitoes and reduce the risk of infection.

“A suspected case of EEE in a Michigan resident suggests that it is a continuing threat to the health and safety of mixiganders and calls for continued action to prevent the risk, including aerial treatment,” Khaldun said.

Spraying is scheduled to begin in 10 affected counties on Wednesday, and state health officials say more areas of the state can be treated if additional human or animal cases are identified.

Clarke from St. Charles, Illinois will be airlifted, using special aircraft, beginning in the evening and continuing until the following morning. The treatment will be conducted using Merus 3.0, the same product that will be used in 2019 on 557,000 acres in Michigan. Merus 3.0 is registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and is labeled for public health use in residential areas.

To avoid EEE, health officials suggest following these steps:

  • Use insect growers for pests or other US Environmental Protection Agency-approved skin or clothing, following the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirt and long pants when going out. Apply insect repellent to clothes to help prevent bites.
  • Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes out.
  • Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the house, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar places where mosquitoes can lay eggs.
  • Use net and / or fans in outdoor dining areas.

Follow reporter Kristen Jordan Shamus on Twitter: @KristenShamus

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This article originally appeared on the Detroit Free Press: Suspected Mosquito-borne Virus in Michigan; 10 counties urged to cancel outside events after evening

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