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Livingston County Health Department

Livingston County Health Department Encourages Residents to Take Action to Prevent Mosquito Bites

HOWELL, Michigan. – (July 21, 2023) Livingston County Health Department (LCHD) is encouraging residents to take precautions against mosquito bites this summer. Mosquitoes in Michigan may carry viruses, like West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), which can be passed to people or animals through a bite from an infected mosquito. LCHD is monitoring mosquitoes in Livingston County in coordination with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) by participating in a Vector-Borne Disease Surveillance and Prevention Program.

The aim of this surveillance program is to collect mosquito monitoring data to help MDHHS and our local community prepare for emerging diseases. Mosquito traps are placed throughout Livingston County and collected samples are tested to identify mosquitoes that have the capability of transmitting EEE. While no mosquitoes carrying EEE have been identified in Livingston County as of July 21, 2023, this virus has been found in Livingston County in recent years and is currently present in nearby counties. Through similar surveillance programs in other areas of Michigan, mosquitoes in both Bay County and Barry County tested positive for EEE earlier this summer. EEE is the most dangerous mosquito-borne disease in the United States, with a 30% fatality rate in people who become ill.

People who engage in outdoor work and recreational activities in swampy areas are at increased risk of infection. Residents can protect themselves and their families from EEE and other mosquito-borne diseases by taking the following steps to prevent mosquito bites:

  • Use insect repellent containing the active ingredient DEET or other EPA-approved products. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
  • To find a repellent that is right for you, use the EPA’s search tool: https://bit.ly/2tIJyLl.
  • Wear loose-fitting, long sleeves and pants when outdoors and spray clothing with insect repellent.
  • Empty containers of standing water near your home, such as flowerpots, unused children’s pools, buckets, birdbaths, and other water-holding containers where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
  • Maintain window and door screening to keep mosquitoes outdoors.

Horses are also vulnerable to EEE, with a 90% fatality rate in horses that become ill. The disease is not spread through horse-to-horse or horse-to-human contact. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development recommends that owners protect their horses by:

  • Talking to their veterinarian about vaccinating horses against EEE and other mosquito-borne diseases.
  • Placing horses and other livestock in a barn under fans during peak mosquito activity (from dusk to dawn).
  • Using an insect repellant on animals that is approved for the species.
  • Contacting a veterinarian if an animal shows signs of illness.

For additional information on mosquitoes and updates on EEE and West Nile virus activity, please visit https://www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases/mosquitoes.

CONTACT:
Courtney Rynkiewicz, Public Information Officer
Livingston County Health Department
(517) 546-9850
crynkiewicz@livgov.com
www.lchd.org
https://www.facebook.com/myLCHD

Livingston County Health Department Logo
Matt Bolang

Matt Bolang
Health Officer

Phone

(517) 546-9850

Hours

Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closed County Holidays

Location

2300 E Grand River Ave
Suite 102
Howell, MI 48843

Fax

(517) 546-6995