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Menominee Co. reports first horse death caused by EEE, cautions residents of EEE-carrying mosquitos

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MENOMINEE, Wis. (WFRV) – The Public Health Delta and Menominee Counties reported the first horse death caused by Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in Menominee County this year.

According to the officials, on Thursday, Public Health Delta and Menominee Counties were notified that a Menominee County horse who had become ill on October 3, had died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

Health experts say this is the first confirmed animal case of EEE in Menominee County this year.

Experts say EEE cannot be spread between animals or between animals and humans, but humans can get EEE through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Most cases of human EEE are reported not to cause any symptoms with less than 1 percent of individuals with EEE developing a serious illness.

Research officials note that anyone can be affected by EEE, but residents over the age of 50 and under the age of 15 are at the greatest risk for developing a severe case.

EEE symptoms can include fever, weakness, and muscle and joint pain with more severe symptoms causing swelling of the brain and surrounding tissues.

Because conditions are favorable for EEE-carrying mosquitoes during the fall, experts are advising residents to take precautions against mosquito bites.

To protect horses and other domestic animals health experts are advising residents to take the following safety measures:

  • Talk to a veterinarian about vaccinating horses against EEE.
  • Place livestock in a barn under fans.
  • Use an insect repellant on an animal that is approved for the species.
  • Eliminate standing water on the property—i.e., fill in puddles, repair eaves, and change the water in buckets and bowls at least once a day.
  • Contact a veterinarian if an animal shows signs of the illness: fever and stumbling, which can progress to being down and struggling to stand.

No other animal or human cases of EEE have been confirmed in Menominee County at this time, however, officials add that 35 confirmed cases in horses in sixteen Michigan counties have been reported to date.

For additional information about EEE visit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services website here.

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