EAU CLAIRE (WKOW) — Laboratory testing confirmed Wisconsin’s first 2020 human death from eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), state health officials announced Friday.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and the Chippewa County Health Department sent out a news release with the information.
A Chippewa County woman in her 60’s was infected, becoming the second case in the state and the first to result in death, after the first confirmed case on Wednesday.
Last week, DHS announced that horses in three northwestern counties were confirmed to be infected with the virus.
The disease can spread to people through bites from infected mosquitoes.
EEE is rare but potentially fatal. It can affect people regardless of their age, health officials said.
DHS released the following preveniton measures:
Avoid Mosquito Bites:
- Apply an insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 to exposed skin and clothing.
- Prior to heading outdoors, treat clothing with permethrin; do not apply permethrin directly to skin.
- Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning hours, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors to help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home:
- Make sure window and door screens are intact and tightly fitted to prevent mosquitoes from getting into your home.
- Prevent mosquitoes from breeding around your home by removing stagnant water from items around your property, such as tin cans, plastic containers, flower pots, discarded tires, roof gutters, and downspouts.
- Turn over wheelbarrows, kiddie pools, buckets, and small boats, such as canoes and kayaks, when not in use.
- Change the water in bird baths and pet dishes at least every three days.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs; drain water from pool covers.
- Trim or mow tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.