A case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been identified in a deer in Allegan County. The Allegan County Health Department has released the following:
The Allegan County Health Department was notified by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) on Friday, September 18, of a deer that tested positive in Dorr Township for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).
As a result of this case, a mosquito control treatment area (a 5 mile radius from where the deer was found) in Allegan County has been added by the MDHHS. Mosquito control aerial spraying in the State began on Wednesday, September 16 but, as spraying is weather dependent, it is unknown how many days it will take for all blocks to be sprayed. See www.Michigan.gov/EEE for aerial spraying maps, areas completed, spraying schedules, and MDHHS previous news releases.
Aerial spraying is completed by a low-flying aircraft, beginning at dusk and continuing until 4:30 a.m. the next morning. Mosquito control professionals will apply approved pesticides as an ultra-low volume (ULV) spray. ULV sprayers dispense very fine aerosol droplets that stay suspended in the air and kill adult mosquitoes on contact. The product used for spraying is Merus 3.0 which is OMRI Listed and can be used around organic crops and gardens. It may be used in certified organic production or food processing and handling according to the USDA National Organic Program regulations.
The Allegan County Health Department wants to remind residents that infections can happen, even when mosquito bite numbers are low. As fall approaches, mosquitoes stay active until the first hard frost of the year.
Avoid mosquito bites and the diseases they carry with these steps:
- Limit outdoor activity between dusk and dawn when the mosquito types that carries EEE is most active.
- 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 and apply insect repellent to clothing
- Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside
- Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs
- Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas
EEE is a dangerous mosquito-borne disease. Persons younger than age 15 and over age 50 are at greatest risk of severe disease if infected. Signs of EEE include the sudden onset of fever, chills, body and joint aches that can progress to a severe encephalitis, resulting in headache, disorientation, tremors, seizures and paralysis.
Permanent brain damage, coma and death may also occur in some cases. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should visit their physician’s office.
For more information on EEE and other mosquito-borne diseases, visit www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases.