EEE aerial sprayings planned for Wednesday night

Credits TAPinto Archive

Credits TAPinto Archive

The EEE virus (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) is embedding itself a little more in Mid-Michigan with a deer now testing positive in Fenton Township.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is planning to treat areas in Allegan, Van Buren and Calhoun counties Wednesday night.

MDHHS has targeted parts of multiple counties in West Michigan to fight Eastern equine encephalitis, a rare mosquito-borne illness with a 33% fatality rate for people who get infected.

On this date, Kalamazoo health officials were notified that an aerial mosquito spray would no longer be effective. This will not, however, include Kalamazoo County, where residents opted out of the spraying. Mosquito control is weather-dependent.

So far, the state has confirmed nine human cases of EEE in six counties: Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo and Van Buren. Treatment in these areas, identified in the state's updated Aerial Treatment Zones Map, is weather permitting and will be rescheduled if needed, state officials said. According to the health department, 33 animal cases have arisen in 15 counties - all deaths.

In addition to the human cases, at least 30 animals - including 18 horses - in more than a dozen counties also have died from the disease.

The treatment scheduled for neighborhoods in both Berrien and Cass counties has been completed.

Each opt-out requires approximately 22 acres of space being excluded from aerial spraying, Rutherford said. No special precautions are recommended; however, residents and individuals who have known sensitivities to pyrethrins can reduce potential harm for exposure by staying indoors while spraying. But in order to remove one's property from the spray zone, a 48-hour notice in advance of scheduled spraying must be given to state officials.

"They did do some flying in southern MI last night, but not as much as the night before probably due to weather", Cheatham said.

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