Posted by OnMain.Today Staff

More than 541,000 acres treated in high risk areas

LANSING, Mich. – The seventh night of aerial treatment planned to help combat Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is underway in Van Buren County, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has announced.

The area slated for treatment tonight is Area 13-2 in Van Buren County. This area is identified in the Aerial Treatment Zones Map.

Total treated acreage to date is more than 541,000 acres. Areas completed include Areas 1-1 and 1-2 in Allegan County, Area 2-1 in Barry County, Area 3-1 in Berrien County, Areas 4-1 and 4-2, 4-3 and 4-4 in Calhoun County, Areas 5-1 and 5-2 in Cass County, Areas 6-1 and 6-2 in Jackson County, Areas 8-1 and 8-2 in Kent County, Area 9-1 in Lapeer County, Areas 10-1, 10-2 and 10-3 in Montcalm County, Area 11-1 in Newaygo County, Areas 12-1, 12-2 and 12-3 in St. Joseph County, Areas 13-1 and 13-2 in Van Buren County and Area 14-1 in Washtenaw County and Area 15-1 in Livingston. Please refer to the County-level Aerial Treatment Maps for more details of the identified zones’ locations. 

As of Oct. 4, EEE has been confirmed in nine people, with four fatalities. Cases are in Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties. In addition, cases have occurred in 34 animals from 15 counties: Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Genesee, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lapeer, Livingston, Montcalm, Newaygo, St. Joseph and Van Buren.

EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33 percent fatality rate in people who become ill. People can be infected with EEE from the bite of a mosquito carrying the viruses.

Although the aerial spray is considered necessary to reduce human risk, it will not eliminate it. The mosquitos that spread EEE are still active and were caught in traps set Oct. 1 in southwest Michigan. Residents must continue to protect themselves from mosquito bites by:

  • Avoiding being outdoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitos that carry the EEE virus are most active.
  • Applying 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.
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
  • Maintaining window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Emptying water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.
  • Using nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas. 

More information is available at Michigan.gov/EEE.