The rare and potentially deadly mosquito-borne virus eastern equine encephalitis is spreading in Michigan, state health officials announced Thursday.
Six more horses now have confirmed cases of the virus, which is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes, bringing the total to 28 horses in 11 counties and one suspected human case.
State health officials announced Tuesday that an adult from Barry County is the first suspected human case of Triple E this year. Lab tests to confirm the case are underway and are expected to be completed later this week.
Livingston County now has Triple E cases in horses, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and will be included in an aerial mosquito-control program that is scheduled to continue Thursday night.
The other high-risk counties with cases in horses are: Barry, Clare, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo and Oakland.
“These additional cases of EEE in horses underscores the importance of providing aerial treatment in the affected counties,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “There is an ongoing threat to the health and safety of Michiganders as we know mosquitoes are carrying this potentially deadly disease in these areas. Last year, 10 families were devastated by this disease and we are trying to protect others from being infected.”
Source: Detroit Free Press