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Eastern Equine Encephalitis confirmed in three counties, officials urge taking precautions

A mosquito
flickr user trebol-a
Mosquito picando

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is urging residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

That's after cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis -- or Triple E -- were confirmed in animals in Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Cass counties.

The disease is transmitted from horses and deer to humans through mosquito bites.

“Use mosquito repellant, maybe even wear some long sleeves if you can,” said MDHHS spokeswoman Lynn Sutfin. “Also, check your doors and your screens. Try and make sure those mosquitos are staying outside of your home.”

Triple E in humans is extremely rare, but dangerous. A third of people who get it die.

“People don't need to panic but we do want them to be aware that it is a possibility, and then just to take some precautions,” said Sutfin.

Sutfin says there is a Triple E vaccine for horses, but not humans.

She says people who own horses should vaccinate them to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Paulette is a digital media reporter and producer for Michigan Public. She started as a newsroom intern at the station in 2014 and has taken on various roles in that time, including filling in as an on-air host.
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