BCHD News Releases Regarding Eastern Equine Encephalitis
News Release: September 18th, 2019
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE)?
EEE is a rare disease that is caused by a virus spread by infected mosquitoes. EEE is one of a group of mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis).
How do people get infected with EEE?
EEE is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Disease transmission does not occur directly from person to person.
How many cases of EEE have been in Michigan?
As of September 18th, 2019, there have been seven (7) confirmed cases of EEE in Michigan. In Berrien County, there has been one (1) confirmed case and one (1) suspected case that is pending confirmatory laboratory testing. Updated case counts can be found at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services website.
Who is most at-risk for EEE infection?
Individual cases of EEE are more likely to occur in those over the age of 50, under the age of 15, or those who may have weakened immune systems from underlying medical conditions or treatments.
How soon do people get sick after getting bitten by an infected mosquito?
It takes 4 to 10 days after the bite of an infected mosquito to develop symptoms of EEE.
What are the symptoms?
Severe cases of EEE infection begin with the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. The illness may then progress into disorientation, seizures, and coma. Approximately a third of patients who develop EEE die, and many of those who survive have mild to severe brain damage.
How can I prevent EEE and mosquito bites?
- When outdoors, apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered product to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
- Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
- Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.
- Find other mosquito bite prevention information here.
Additional Resources & Links
Get The Facts on EEE - Prevent Mosquito Bites (PDF) Factsheet
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services