Due to a rising cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services is advising that all outdoor activities be cancelled.

The press release was sent out on Friday stating that activities, including sports, that are scheduled for dusk or later should be rescheduled.

The MDHHS recommendation is being made out of an abundance of caution to protect the public health, and applies until the first hard frost of the year.

EEE is a virus transmitted to humans via mosquito bite. They get the disease after feeding on a dead horse who is contracted with it. Cases normally start to pop up in late summer.

As of September 11, there have been 21 confirmed animal cases of EEE in Michigan in the following 9 counties:

  • Barry
  • Clare
  • Isabella
  • Jackson
  • Kent
  • Mecosta
  • Montcalm
  • Newaygo
  • Oakland

A recent report from the MDDHS said that EEE is outpacing the numbers from 2019 and it is gravely important that horse owners get them vaccinated. Last year, there was a total of 50 cases in animals and 10 in humans (killing six) across 20 counties. This was the state's largest outbreak in history.

No human cases have been reported and health officials want to keep it that way, therefore recommending reducing time spent outdoors, especially at night when there's more mosquito activity.

If infected, EEE has a 30% fatality rate and is mostly dangerous to people over 50 and those younger than 15.

Keep yourself and your family safe from mosquitoes with these tips:

  • Using insect repellant containing DEET
  • Wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants
  • Make sure window and door screens are sealed
  • Get rid of any standing water i.e. puddles which are a breeding ground for mosquitoes

For more information and news about Eastern Equine Encephalitis, go here.

West Nile virus is the other mosquito-borne virus that people should be careful about. As of September 11, there were 9 human cases of WNV.

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