Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEEV) is Now in Michigan
A rare, mosquito-borne virus, called the Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEEV), has recently been reported in Michigan. The areas with official reports include Barry, Berrien, Cass, Genesee, Kalamazoo, Lapeer, St. Joseph, and Van Buren counties.
Many counties have not been impacted by EEEV at this time, but we wanted to share some insight and facts on the virus to help ease anxieties and to help answer quesrions you may have.
The following facts are from the Oakland County Health Division. Please read carefully:
- EEEV is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, which can cause swelling of the brain otherwise known as encephalitis.
- To avoind getting bit by a mosquito, use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellant.
- Get rid of mosquito breeding areas in your yard or on your property by removing standing water around your home.
- Invest in a mosquito-prevention company such as Mosquito Authority so you can be outside in your backyard without worrying about the pests.
- Turn over any type of container that can collect water (old flower pots, buckets, etc.).
- Clean gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains.
- Treat standing water that cannot be eliminated, such as retention ponds or drainage ditches, with a mosquito larvicide. This can be purchased at most home improvement stores.
- Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants when outside.
- Limit outdoor activity from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Keep window and door screens closed to keep mosquitoes out of homes and buildings. Do not prop open doors unless a screen is in place to keep insects out.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the incubation period for EEEV disease ranges from 4 to 10 days. The infection can result in one of two types of illness, systemic or encephalitic (involving swelling of the brain). The type of illness will depend on the age of the person as well as other important host factors. Don’t panic, it is possible though that some people who become infected with EEEV may not develop any symptoms.
Here’s what to watch for if you think you or a loved one has been infected:
The illness lasts 1 to 2 weeks, and recovery is complete when there is no central nervous system involvement. In infants, the encephalitic form is characterized by abrupt onset; in older children and adults, encephalitis becomes apparent after a few days of systemic illness. Signs and symptoms in encephalitic patients are fever, headache, irritability, restlessness, drowsiness, anorexia, cyanosis, diarrhea, convulsions, vomiting and coma.