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SCACC Executive Director talks EEE prevention

More than 25 percent of the nation’s Triple E cases last year were diagnosed in Michigan.
Recent flooding has created ideal conditions for mosquito reproduction.
Recent flooding has created ideal conditions for mosquito reproduction.(WJHG/WECP)
Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 5:04 PM EDT
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SAGINAW COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) -It’s one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33 percent fatality rate in people who become ill.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis, EEE.

And it’s not just humans that can be infected, animals are also at risk. An unvaccinated horse in Tuscola County recently tested positive for EEE.

“There’s no way to completely eradicate mosquitoes on a farm, there’s flies and mosquitoes and the insects that travel with farm life but we dot he best that we can to keep those horses at risk,” said horse owner, Bonnie Kanicki.

Bonnie Kanicki is the Executive Director for Saginaw Animal Care and Control Center.

Kanicki is also a longtime horse owner.

“I have a little quarter horse mare that’s 33 years old and I have a new quarter horse thoroughbred mix that I got five months ago that I use to ride with the poses,” she said.

More than 25 percent of the nation’s Triple E cases last year were diagnosed in Michigan.

People and animals can be infected from just one bite of a mosquito carrying the virus.

There is NOT a Triple E vaccine available for people, but there is one for horses.

Kanicki said protecting her horses with preventative measures against EEE is key.

“For horses it’s vaccinations is a prevention, boosters in conjunction with the vaccinations and use a good repellent,” Kanicki said.

Symptoms of EEE include: high fever, headache, drowsiness, vomiting, diarrhea, bluish discoloration of the skin, convulsions, and coma.

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