Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus has been detected in three horses and one group of mosquitos in Elkhart County, state health officials report.
EEE, sometimes called triple-E virus, can cause serious long-term complications in humans and has a fatality rate of about 33%. Although no human cases have been reported in Indiana this year, three people have been infected with EEE in southwest Michigan in 2019. One of the cases resulted in death.
Symptoms of the virus include body aches, joint pain, fever and chills. More advanced forms of the disease including nervous system damage and encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain. The disease is most dangerous to those younger than 15 and older than 50.
The key to avoiding EEE is avoiding mosquito bites, said Jennifer Brown, a public health veterinarian at the Indiana State Department of Health in a press release.
Refraining from being outdoors during times when mosquitos are most active – including the evenings and early mornings – can help prevent contact. Health officials also recommend using insect repellant containing DEET, lemon eucalyptus oil, paramenthane-diol, picaridin, or IR2535 on clothing and exposed skin during hours when mosquitos will be most active.
To keep up to date on the results of ISDH’s mosquito surveillance program, click here.