After delay, state to spray West Michigan Monday night to combat EEE

    Spraying for EEE, Sept. 30, 2019 | MDDHS map

    Aerial treatment to combat mosquito-carried Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in western Michigan counties will begin tonight, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

    Areas in Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties are scheduled for Monday treatments, according to an Aerial Treatment Zones Map. All other treatment zones will not be treated, according to DHHS. The treatments were originally set for Sunday, but were postponed due to inclement weather, as the Advance previously reported. 

    Update: State delays mosquito spraying due to weather

    Low-flying aircraft will dispense aerosol pesticides from the early evening to 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to a release. 

    Nine cases of EEE and three human fatalities in total have been confirmed in Michigan. Cases have also occurred in 33 animals. As of Thursday, mosquitoes that carried EEE were still active, according to DHHS. The disease has a 33% percent fatality rate. 

    Joneigh Khaldun

    Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health, said aerial treatment is a precaution to combat EEE-transmitting mosquitoes. 

    “The addition of three new animal cases and recent discovery of mosquitos that carry this virus show this is an ongoing threat to the health and safety of Michiganders and the need for continued actions to prevent exposure, including aerial treatment,” Khaldun said. 

    More information about the EEE virus and aerial treatment schedule can be found on Michigan’s Emerging Disease Issues website

    C.J. Moore
    C.J. Moore covers the environment and the Capitol. She previously worked at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland as a public affairs staff science writer. She also previously covered crop sustainability and coal pollution issues for Great Lakes Echo. In addition, she served as editor in chief at The State News and covered its academics and research beat. She is a journalism graduate student at Michigan State University.

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