462,000 acres in Michigan sprayed to protect residents from EEE: health dept.

aerial spraying
By WWJ Newsradio 950

(WWJ) The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says it's treated several hundred-thousand acres of land in an effort to stop the spread of the potentially deadly Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus.

More than 462,000 acres of land in Michigan have been sprayed from small planes in the the sky to prevent a spread of EEE -- one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S.

EEE can be fatal, and it often leaves survivors with brain damage. Six people in Michigan died after contracting EEE in 2019.

So far this season, officials say the illness has been confirmed in one person in the state, in Barry County.

Another case in a human is suspected in Montcalm County, according to the health department, and EEE has been found in 30 horses ans two deer in Michigan this year. There have been no human deaths from EEE recorded in Michigan so far in 2020.

Along with Montcalm and Barry, areas that have been sprayed are in Oakland, Jackson and Livingston counties. Find a map of the treated areas HERE.

Health department officials say no additional treatment is planned at this time, as season will be wrapping up in Michigan in the coming weeks.

MDHHS says the mosquito that carries EEE does not fly at temperatures below 50 degrees F.

Until the first hard freeze, however, Michiganders are urged to continue to protect themselves by:
  • Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered product to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer's directions for use.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
  • Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.
  • Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas

Residents are encouraged to visit Michigan.gov/EEE for the latest information.