GENESEE COUNTY, MI -- Three horse cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis have been reported in Genesee and Shiawassee counties, urging residents to protect themselves and their animals from mosquito bites after they were discovered in the region.
In a news release on Friday, Oct. 15, the Genesee County Health Department said three of the cases -- eight of them this year -- were reported in Michigan.
Seven of the cases have involved horses, and one was in a deer.
According to the countys statement, no human cases have been identified this year.
Kayleigh J. Blaney, Genesee Countys deputy health officer, said there doesnt appear to be a common thread among the local EEE cases, but she added that cooler than usual fall weather is one explanation for cases developing so late in the year.
Weve had warmer temperatures up until October, Blaney said. Until weve had that first nice freeze, mosquitoes will continue to be present. Once we get that initial good freeze, mosquitos wont be absent, said Clark.
According to the county, EEE is a mosquito-borne disease that is most prevalent from late summer to early fall. Owners should consider eliminating standing water from their horses and other domestic animals, including dogs, sheep, and goats, to ensure their property remains safe from water damage.
As the temperatures drop, people become a little less vigilant about mosquitoes, Blaney said.
Last week, the Michigan Department of Agriculture issued a similar advisory, urging animal owners in the state to be aware of the dangers of EEE.
State Veterinarian Nora Wineland explained in a news release that when combating EEE, the date on the calendar is less important than the temperatures being experienced. Our current mild temperatures do not suggest that horse owners should be less vigilant about vaccinations. Since the mortality rate of EEE in horses can be as high as 90 percent, it is important for owners to work with their veterinarian to ensure that their animals are properly vaccinated.
More information on EEE from the state of Michigan can be found here.
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First 2021 Michigan case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis found in Livingston County horse farm.
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