adejonge@michianaymca.org

Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 1:55pm

With recommendations from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), and after contacting our local health department, below is the procedure we at YMCA Camp Eberhart will be following to prevent the spread of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus.

  • All horses at YMCA Camp Eberhart have current vaccinations against the EEE virus and are vaccinated annually
  • Bug spray that contains DEET will be made available to all guests. Guests will be encouraged to use insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered product to exposed skin of clothing
  • We encourage all guests to wear protective clothing, such as long pants, long sleeve shirts, or jackets and/or insect repellant when outdoors
  • Our team has worked hard to eliminate any standing water everywhere other than natural rain puddled
  • All cabin windows have either closing windows or screens to protect guests
  • Moving all evening activities after dinner indoors
  • Spraying/fogging the exterior of entryway doors to sleeping lodges and main buildings

In Southwest Michigan there have been 7 human cases of EEE confirmed and 3 of these cases have died. The geographic area affected by EEE human cases includes the counties of Berrien, Cass, VanBuren, Kalamazoo, and Barry.

MDHHS is urging residents to stay healthy by following steps to avoid mosquito bites:

  • Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered product to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
  • Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.
  • Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas

These procedures will remain in place until the MHDDS state local communities are able to safely resume outdoor activities after dusk.

People can be infected with EEE from the bite of a mosquito carrying the virus. The disease is not spread from animals to humans. Signs and symptoms of EEE include sudden onset of fever, chills, and body and joint aches. EEE infection can develop into severe encephalitis, resulting in headache, disorientation, tremors, seizures, and paralysis. Permanent brain damage, coma, and death may also occur in some cases, per a press release from MDHHS on August 26, 2019. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek prompt medical attention.