Officials determined to treat airborne mosquitoes in 10 Michigan counties considered high risk for fatal disease Eastern equinox encephalitis (EEE).
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services 22 cases of EEE have been confirmed In horses in Michigan. Authorities are also investigating additional possible animal cases.
No human cases have been confirmed until Sunday, but the number of horse cases is two-fold Officials confirmed this time last year, According to MDHHS.
Read: Oakland County residents urged to protect themselves from mosquito bites amid confirmation of EEE cases
Health officials have determined that a targeted aerial treatment plan is necessary. He said that EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, a 33% fatal rate for people who become ill.
Officials said mosquito bites can cause EEE to humans.
People below the age of 15 and above 50 are at greatest risk of becoming seriously ill from infection. MDHHS officials said last year more than 25% of the nation’s EEE cases were diagnosed in Michigan.
Here are the counties prescribed to receive air treatment:
- Barry county
- Clare county
- Ionia County
- Isabella county
- Jackson County
- Kent County
- Mecosta County
- Montcalm County
- Nuego county
- Oakland County
Treatment is scheduled for Wednesday evenings, but is dependent on weather conditions.
“We are taking this step in the pursuit of health and safety of mosquitoes, where we know that mosquitoes are carrying this potentially deadly disease,” Dr. Jong Khaldun, MDHHS Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy Health Chief. “Since people are spending more time outside because of COVID-19, they also need to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”
Signs of EEE infection include fever, chills, sudden onset of body and joint pain that can progress to a severe encephalitis, resulting in headaches, disorientation, tremors, seizures, and paralysis. Anyone who thinks they are experiencing these symptoms should contact a medical provider.
Last year: 6th death related to mosquito borne EEE in Michigan
In some cases permanent brain damage, coma and death may also occur.
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development released Emergency rule Notification for aerial spraying treatment in temporarily affected counties and amendment of the rule on participation for community pesticide applications. This means that mosquito control treatment will be required for areas that are identified by federal remediation and aerial remediation with the exception of tribal lands.
“Recent history has shown us, EEE can strike rapidly and it can be fatal to humans and animals,” MDARD director Gary McDowell said. “MDARD fully supports MDHHS’s work and commitment to protecting public health, which is why we have removed a barrier that probably prevents them from taking action quickly.”
If new human or animal cases are confirmed outside the currently identified areas, more areas may be selected for treatment.
Aerial treatment is operated by special aircraft, which begin in the evening and continue until the following morning. State-certified mosquito control professionals will apply the approved pesticide as ultra-low volume (ULV) spray. ULV sprayers spread very fine aerosol droplets that remain suspended in the air and kill adult mosquitoes upon contact.
According to officials, health risks are generally not expected during or after spraying. No special precautions are recommended, but anyone with a known sensitivity to pyrethrin may be less likely to stay indoors during treatment.
Officials said no effect of aerial treatment on surface water or drinking water is expected. Monitoring in 2019 When more than 557,000 Michigan acres were treated, no human, animal, or insect adverse effects associated with aerial treatments were found.
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