We’re Seeing An Early Start For EEE In Michigan
Michigan was a focal point of mosquito-borne Eastern Equine Encephalitis cases last year. This year may end up being no different. We’ve already had a couple of early reports of mosquitos found in the state carrying the disease. Those reports are from the Grand Rapids area and Lapeer County, just to the east of Flint. Several other eastern US states are now reporting similar discoveries. It's earlier than normal signaling the potential for a long few months of potential exposure for us. Last year, 15 US residents died from EEE. Six of the victims were from here in Michigan. Human cases were reported throughout the region including Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties. At least 50 cases of animals being infected were confirmed statewide. State medical experts say on average, about one-third of the people who contract Eastern Equine Encephalitis end up dying.
Along with mosquitos carrying that disease, we’ve had verification of Asian Tiger Mosquitos being found near Detroit this year. They typically go after animals but still carry some other dangerous diseases. The symptoms of all the mosquito-borne diseases are often similar. State health department physicians recommend visiting with a doctor if you’ve been outside a lot, been bitten by mosquitos, and experience symptoms along the lines of fever, body aches, and headaches that don't improve after a day or two. The state also wants to get data and samples to keep a handle on the related diseases. There is no statewide monitoring or control system in place. A few counties in the thumb area work cooperatively to monitor their area.