Michigan health officials are urging people to stay indoors after 10 confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne virus, eastern equine encephalitis in 22 horses and one suspected human case.
As of Wednesday, the Michigan Health Department had confirmed 22 cases of horses in 10 counties and one suspected case of people in Bari County, the ministry said in a statement.
Officials said they would begin air treatment Wednesday night in certain high-risk areas of the state to prevent the spread of eastern equine encephalitis.
“MDHHS continues to encourage local officials in the affected counties to consider postponing, rescheduling or canceling outdoor activities that occur at or after dusk, especially those involving children, to reduce the chance of people being bitten by mosquitoes,” he said. Mr. Johnny Haldun, chief medical officer and chief health deputy at MDHHS, in a statement, according to USA Today.
Eastern equine encephalitis is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33 percent mortality rate among people who become ill, according to the Michigan Health Department. People under the age of 15 or over are at the highest risk of serious illness after infection, and the risk of bites is highest for people who work and play outdoors in the affected areas, according to the department.
The department said the 22 registered cases of horses were twice as many as in the same period last year. More than 25 percent of cases of eastern equine encephalitis last year were diagnosed in Michigan, according to the state.