KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. — On Sunday, Kalamazoo County health officials confirmed that aerial spraying for Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE, would not be taking place in their area.
According to a press release from the county, the number of opt-out notifications sent to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services by residents comprises such a large area that aerial spraying there wouldn’t effective in reducing the adult mosquito populations. So spraying won’t be performed in the cities of Kalamazoo and Portage.
However, officials say residents in Kalamazoo County may still see a low flying plane over their properties due to treatments happening in neighboring counties.
MDHHS also announced spraying in several other counties was canceled Sunday evening due to weather.
There have been several cases of EEE in humans this year, three of which have been fatal in Southwest Michigan. The mosquito-borne illness has also been confirmed in several animals.
Signs of EEE infection include the sudden onset of fever, chills, body and joint aches which can progress to severe encephalitis, resulting in headache, disorientation, tremors, seizures, and paralysis. More serious cases can result in permanent brain damage, coma, or even death.
To help combat EEE, health officials recommend wearing long sleeves and using bug spray with DEET, as well as getting rid of standing water in your yards.
Several school districts have also been moving the times of their athletic activities and homecoming events to limit the amount of time people are outside after dusk and exposed to mosquitoes.
For more information on the aerial spraying, visit www.michigan.gov/EEE.
Residents can also call the MDHHS toxicology line at 517-335-8165.