MI reports 4th EEE death

Henrietta Brewer
October 4, 2019

All of the human cases have occurred in five Southwest Michigan counties: Barry, Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo and Van Buren.

There has been another death due to Eastern Equine Encephalitis or EEE, a mosquito-borne disease.

The pesticide will be sprayed later at night when bees should be in their hives, and the amount of chemical is low and breaks down quickly, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. Keep up-to-date on aerial spraying plans and the EEE outbreak.

Those sickened but not killed by EEE include a 14-year-old girl from the Kalamazoo area who suffered severe brain swelling.

The total number of human cases this year is higher than the total number of cases over the last 10 years combined.

Health experts also confirmed the deadly pathogen in 33 animals across 15 MI counties.

HCS issued a press release at 12:30 p.m. announcing the decision to opt in for aerial spraying in Kalamazoo County, which included MDHHS press release and announced a scheduled press conference by HCS for 3:00 p.m.

2, EEE has been confirmed in nine people, with four fatalities. Health officials will notify the public when a new aerial spraying date can be determined.

Individuals can still request to opt their property out of spraying.

The health department said the spray uses a product called "Merus 3.0", an organic botanical adult mosquito insecticide containing 5 percent pyrethrins. "Aerial spraying is not expected to have any impacts on surface water or drinking water".

Optouts "will reduce the overall treatment effectiveness in the area, mosquito populations upwind of the opt-out area will not be reduced and neighbors will not benefit from the reduction in mosquito numbers", according to a memo released by the Health and Human Services Department.

See Sunday's edition (Oct. 6) of The County Press for more information on local efforts to combat EEE.

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