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Kalamazoo County conducting surveillance of mosquitos, ticks this summer

EEE, Mosquitoes
Posted at 1:06 PM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 13:06:49-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department’s Environmental Health staff will be setting several mosquito traps throughout the county to capture and identify potential disease-carrying mosquitos through September.

Southern Michigan is in the migration pattern of the Asian Tiger Mosquito, which can carry the ZIKA virus, according to a news release Thursday.

Though health officials don’t believe the mosquito is currently present in Kalamazoo County, they’re still working closely with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on surveillance.

Environmental Health staff will also be monitoring for mosquitoes known to carry Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

Reporting on the findings will be shared with the community.

“Although continued response to COVID-19 remains a top priority for the health department, there is still critical public health work, such as mosquito surveillance, that must be done to protect the health and safety of our community this summer,” said Vern Johnson, chief of the environmental health division. “Trapping and testing this species of mosquito will offer early EEE surveillance and detection, ultimately helping citizens take steps to reduce disease transmission within Kalamazoo County.”

In addition, Environmental Health will be conducting several tick drags this summer, the purpose being to capture and identify blacklegged ticks that are known to transmit Lyme disease.