Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) has killed at least 10 people recently. EEE is carried by mosquitos so it is easily able to expand into new territories which seems to be the case. There have been 30 EEE infections so far in one month’s time. Massachusetts has had four EEE deaths with other deaths reported in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Michigan.
“Michigan is currently experiencing its worst Eastern equine encephalitis outbreak in more than a decade,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services chief medical executive and chief deputy for health.
Horses, goats and a Mexican gray wolf pup at the Michigan zoo have all died from EEE. The only vaccine is available for horses, not people. If a horse gets infected with EEE, the statistics show that 90% will die. The mortality rate for humans is at 33%.
Signs for EEE include fever, chills, body and joint aches. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state, “The most effective way to prevent infection from Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus is to prevent mosquito bites.” Let’s take a look at how to prevent mosquito bites below.
Ways To Prevent Mosquito Bites
- Use Insect Repellent – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gives its seal to repellents that they find to be safe for all including pregnant and breastfeeding women
- Cover Your Arms and Legs – It’s a good idea to wear long sleeves and pants when mosquitos are out. You also may want to spray your clothing with permethrin which will kill or repel mosquitoes.
- Avoid Standing Water – Especially watch out for stagnant water found in marshes, birdbaths, puddles and drainage ditches. These are breeding grounds for mosquitos.
- Use A Tent When Sleeping Outside – This advice just makes common sense. The more protection you have from mosquitos, the better.
- Avoid Being Outside During Peak Mosquito hours – Evenings and early mornings are prime mosquito times. Also, avoid shaded areas at any time of the day.