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Eastern equine encephalitis reported in Indiana
State officials warn northern county residents to take precautions
Indianapolis-Responding to reports that Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) has been identified in mosquitoes in Elkhart County, state veterinary officials are warning residents in Indiana's most northern counties to take extra safety measures.
"Eastern equine encephalitis is potentially a very serious disease that can cause lifetime neurological disabilities. The only encephalitis of greater severity to humans than EEE is rabies," says Dr. Jennifer House, a veterinary epidemiologist at the Indiana State Department of Health. "The combined threat of Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile virus in northern counties of the state makes it vital for residents in those areas to take steps to prevent mosquito bites," Dr. House says in a prepared statement.
Below are recommendations state health officials prepared for the public:
- Eliminate standing water, which serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Avoid being outdoors from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors from dusk to dawn.
- Apply insect repellent containing DET, picardadin, or lemon eucalyptus oil to clothes and exposed skin when outdoors.
- Make sure all windows and doors have screens and that the screens are in good repair.
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure.
- Keep horses current on vaccinations for both West Nile virus and EEE.