State officials warn mosquitoes in Indiana found carrying deadly EEE virus

(WTHR photo/File)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — A group of mosquitos in Elkhart County have tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

EEE is a virus that can lead to serious illness and in some cases, death.

There have not been any confirmed cases of EEE in humans in Indiana this year, but there have been three in southwest Michigan. One of those cases was fatal.

ISDH said about 33 percent of human EEE virus cases are fatal.

In addition to the mosquitos that tested positive for the virus, three horses in Elkhart County also have the virus.

People can protect themselves from getting the virus and other illness through mosquito bites by taking preventative measures:

  • Avoid being outdoors during times when mosquitoes are active —
  • Use good insect repellent
  • Cover exposed skin where mosquitos are active, especially in wooded areas
  • Make sure windows are properly screened to keep mosquitos out of homes

There are also simple ways to keep mosquitos away from your property:

  • Discard items that can hold water like tires and flower pots
  • Repair failed septic systems
  • Drill holes in outdoor trash and recycling bins
  • Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed
  • Lean roof gutters
  • Frequently replace water in pet bowls
  • Flush fountains and birdbaths
  • Stock decorative poolsl with predatory fish

Typical symptoms of EEE in humans may include chills, fever, body aches and joint pain. In severe cases, the virus can affect the nervous system and cause encephalitis — inflammation of the brain.

People younger than 15 and older than 50 are especially at risk of severe cases if they get EEE. If you think you may have EEE, see a doctor as soon as possible.

Learn more about EEE from the ISDH here. To find information data from ISDH about mosquitos in Indiana, click here.