Mosquito-borne Diseases Still Causing Problems

Mosquitoes are still an issue this time of year in Michigan. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is reminding residents to protect themselves. There has been one confirmed case of California encephalitis, and three suspected cases of EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) on the west side of the state of Michigan in Kalamazoo and Berrien counties. As of August 26th, six cases of Equine Encephalitis have been confirmed in horses in Barry, Kalamazoo, and St. Joseph counties. None of the horses were vaccinated, and all animals have died.

There is an Equine Encephalitis vaccine available for horses, but there is not a vaccine for people. Dr. Mary Grace Stobierski of the MDHHS said, “Mosquito-borne diseases can cause long-term health effects in people and even death.” Residents should apply insect repellent that contains DEET, wear long sleeves, and apply insect repellent to clothing when working outdoors. Also, it’s important to empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires, or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.