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Health officials urge people to stay indoors, suspect rare mosquito-borne viruses in Michigan

Michigan health officials are reportedly urging people to stay indoors after ten confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne virus Eastern Equine Encephalitis in 22 horses and a suspected human case.

Michigan’s health department confirmed 22 horse cases in 10 counties and a suspected human case in Barry County as of Wednesday, the department 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.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services also urges people in Barry County as well as Clare, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo and Oakland County to cancel or postpone outdoor events that occur after dusk to prevent more people from getting the virus, according to USA Today.

“MDHHS continues to encourage local officials in the affected counties to consider postponing, reorganizing or canceling outdoor activities that occur during or after dusk, especially those involving children, in order to reduce the possibility of people being bitten by mosquitoes. , “said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Generator of Health 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 mortality rate of 33 percent in people who become ill, according to Michigan̵

7;s Department of Health. People under the age of 15 or over 50 have the greatest risk of serious illness after infection, and the risk of bite is greatest for people who work and play outdoors in affected areas, according to the department.

The department said the 22 reported cases in horses are twice as many cases as the same time last year. More than 25 percent of the country’s eastern cases of encephalitis last year were diagnosed in Michigan, according to the state.

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