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MDHHS: Outdoor activities discouraged after dusk

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Posted at 4:52 PM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 16:52:27-04

LANSING, Mich — With EEE cases on the rise, the MDHHS is recommending outdoor activities be rescheduled for before dusk.

"As of Sept. 10, EEE has been confirmed in 19 horses in nine counties in Michigan" The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services wrote in a statement. "This is twice as many animal cases as the same time last year."

Included in the recommendation is evening sports practices or games.

“As animal cases continue to grow, the risks to people increase as well,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “People get EEE the same way horses do – from the bite of an infected mosquito – so a case in a horse means people in that area are also at risk. Limiting exposure at outdoor activities, especially near dusk when mosquitoes are most active, is the best way to keep you and your family safe from this deadly disease.”

At this time there have been no human cases of EEE, though peole under 15 and over 50 are the most susceptable. The MDHHS calls it "one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33 percent fatality rate in people who become ill."

MDHHS recommends the following steps to avoid contracting EEE:

  • Avoiding being outdoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes that carry the EEE virus are most active.
  • Applying insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved product to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
  • Maintaining window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Emptying water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires, or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.
  • Using nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.