Health Care

Kalamazoo/Portage Won't Be Sprayed Tonight For EEE

Kalamazoo/Portage Won't Be Sprayed Tonight For EEE”

The Allegan County Health Department confirmed a deer tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) on Saturday, adding an additional area in the county that will receive aerial spraying.

The Washtenaw County Health Department said no cases have been confirmed or suspected in the area.

Lapeer County was among the areas to be treated. Twenty-seven animal cases have also been confirmed.

Aerial spraying is not expected to have any impacts on surface water or drinking water.

Spraying will occur from dusk to dawn, or approximately 8 4:30 a.m.

The MDHHS says crews in low-flying planes will be applying Merus 3.0 - an organic pesticide containing 5% pyrethrin, which is found naturally in some chrysanthemum flowers.

The state is reminding people that mosquitoes capable of transmitting the disease are assumed to be widespread throughout the region and will remain until the first hard frost reduces the mosquito population. Pyrethrins are commonly used to control mosquitoes, fleas, flies, moths, ants and many other pests.

While pets that spend the majority of the time indoors are at low risk for contracting EEEV, veterinarians at BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital in Southfield, MI, recommend owners take a few precautions to ensure that pets are protected. So far, nine human cases have been confirmed in MI, with three of them becoming fatal. People can be infected with EEE from the bite of a mosquito carrying the viruses. If you are concerned, however, they suggest staying inside, closing windows and doors, and covering pools and fish ponds.

Signs of EEE infection include the sudden onset of fever, chills, body and joint aches, which can progress to severe encephalitis, further resulting in headache, disorientation, tremors, seizures, and paralysis. There is a vaccine for horses who get EEE, but there is no vaccine for humans.

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