Michigan confirms first case of EEE in 2020


The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has confirmed a case of Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis, its first of 2020 in the state.

“This Clare County horse was never vaccinated against EEE, and it developed signs of illness—including walking in circles, leaning to the right, and pressing her head against objects—which progressed to the horse being down on the ground with an inability to get up,” state veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland said in a statement. “Horse owners in Michigan should take extra measures to protect their animals.”

Last year was the worst year of EEE on record in Michigan with 50 cases in 20 counties in animals. Additionally, there were 10 cases in humans. Humans can get contract EEE from mosquitoes carrying the virus.

EEE is regarded as one of the most serious mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S.

Michiganders are strongly urged to take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “It only takes one bite from a mosquito to transmit the virus, which can lead to severe neurologic illness, permanent disability, and sometimes death.”

Here are some tips for preventing EEE:

- Avoid mosquito bites
- Mosquito-proof homes
- Vaccinate horses annually
- Use approved insect repellents on horses.
- Put horses in stables, stalls or barns during dusk and dawn if possible