Aerial spraying to combat EEE to begin in SW Michigan

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The Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department released a statement on Sunday stating that due to a high number of residents preferring to opt-out, aerial spraying would not be performed in the cities of Kalamazoo and Portage.

Health officials in MA are confirming another death, making it the fourth death in that state from EEE.

"If an individual wishes to opt out of the application, under Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development rules, an area of 1,000 by 1,000 feet would not be sprayed around the residence", an MDHHS official said in a previous MLive article.

Tests also confirmed an 11th human case of the mosquito-borne virus in MA.

MA has done some aerial spraying to kill mosquitoes, but the state is done for this season.

While the aerial spraying of pesticides was postponed on Sunday for weather or permanently cancelled in two counties, spraying for Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties took place on Monday night into the early morning hours of Tuesday. Three people have died, and nine total illnesses have been reported.

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Part of the government alarm is that there is no vaccine to avoid or cure the mosquito-borne disease - at least a commercially accessible vaccine.

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.

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.

The threat will remain until the mosquito population is killed off by the first hard freeze, which Storm Team 8 says may not happen until mid-October in southwestern counties. The virus is transmitted to humans and other mammals through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside. Anyone who thinks they may be experiencing these symptoms should contact a medical provider.

This post was updated Monday Sept. 30 at 9:15 p.m.

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