LANSING, Mich. (WLNS/WOOD) — Michigan has recorded a third case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in a horse, this time in Eaton County.
State Veterinarian Nora Wineland said in a Monday release that the case of EEE was found in a 2-year-old paint cross gelding. It started showing neurological signs of EEE on Sept. 8 and ultimately had to be euthanized.
Michigan’s other two cases of EEE in horses this year were in St. Joseph County and Roscommon County.
Animals and people can get EEE from infected mosquitoes. It can’t be spread from one horse to another or from horses to people. No humans in Michigan have contracted EEE so far this year.
Most people who are infected with the EEE virus don’t show any symptoms. But when symptoms do develop, people can get very sick and 33% of them die. Ninety percent of horses sickened by EEE die.
There is a vaccine for horses, but not for people. The horse in Eaton County was not vaccinated.
Here are some ways you can protect your livestock from EEE:
- Keep livestock in a barn under fans from dusk until dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Get rid of standing water on your property.
- Use an insect repellant on animals.
- Get horses vaccinated against EEE.
The threat of EEE and other mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile will remain until the first hard freeze. Five people in Michigan have been sickened by West Nile this year.