Oct 3, 2019
| Petoskey (MI) News – While fall is officially here, some remnants of summer are still in the air.
While the bow hunting deer season started earlier this week across the state, health officials say it is important for hunters to remember there’s an outbreak of EEE (Eastern equine encephalitis) in 15 counties in the lower half of the state.
A dangerous mosquito-borne virus, EEE is a risk for deer hunters this season …
On Wednesday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported a fourth person has died in Michigan as a result of the outbreak. [EEE is being reported in many states this year; these precautions for outdoorsmen are NOT limited to Michigan. – Ed.]
The person killed was a resident of Battle Creek, according to the Calhoun County Public Health Department.
As of Thursday, there have been nine confirmed human cases in the state, while earlier fatalities because of the disease were reported in Kalamazoo, Van Buran and Cass counties.
Joshua Meyerson, medical director for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, said recently no cases of the EEE virus have been reported in Northern Michigan.
“It is found in Michigan, but since I’ve been here I don’t believe we’ve had a case of this virus reported in our area,” Meyerson said. “It’s not really common, but is it possible? We certainly have the right habitats and mosquitoes … it certainly could.
“It’s not something we typically see up here, but that doesn’t mean it could not be in our environment.”
Until the first hard frost, the Health Department of Northwest Michigan recommends hunters should avoid mosquito bites by:
- using EPA-registered insect repellents that include DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus when outside
- wearing long sleeves and pants
- avoiding being outdoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes that carry the EEE virus are most active