KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) – There will be no mosquito spray in Kalamazoo County on Sunday because too many property owners in Kalamazoo and Portage have given up, the county says.
The spray is planned amid a mosquito fire Eastern equine encephalitis that infected nine people in six southeast Michigan counties and killed three patients in Kalamazoo .
In a statement Sunday afternoon, the Kalamazoo County Department of Health and Public Services stated that "the number of denials of residency received by (the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services) includes a sufficiently large geographical distribution in which air spraying will no longer be an effective measure to reduce adult mosquito populations in Kalamazoo and Portage. "
As a result, Kalamazoo and Portage will not be sprayed.
The county may continue to move forward by aerial spraying in other areas based on where EEE was discovered and where enough residents did not give up.
Some suggest that spraying is an overreaction .
But MDHHS says it continues to advance in spraying in several other counties starting Sunday night, when weather permits. The first areas to be sprayed are in the cities of Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph. Low flying spread aircraft will spray from early night and night until 4:30 am
You can track what areas are sprayed on the MDHHS EEE website. If you would like to know more about the spray that the state uses, you can also call the toxicology line at 1.517.335.8165.
"Air treatment is being conducted because this disease is an emerging threat to Michigan's public health and public health authorities must take decisive action to protect the Michiganders," says Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Deputy on health, he said in a statement Sunday. "In the last few days, we have confirmed three new cases of EEE in animals and two of them are in counties that have not been affected by this deadly virus."
These two new counties are Allegan and Livingston. Overall, the disease was detected in 30 animals in 15 counties: Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cas, Genesee, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lapper, Livingston, Montcalm, Newgo, St. Joseph and Van Buren.
Kalamazoo County said it learned that deer tested positive for the disease last week, which means it may have infected him this month. A total of seven animals in the county have been diagnosed with EEE.
The threat will remain until the mosquito population is killed by the first solid freeze, which Storm Team 8 says may not occur until mid-October in the southwestern counties.
Even in sprayed areas, authorities remind people to wear insect repellent with DEET and to wear long pants and sleeves when outdoors in the evening and down when mosquitoes may be more active. If you can, avoid going out at night and dawn.
Make sure your home screens are tightly mounted and in good shape so that they do not leave mosquitoes outside. Get rid of stagnant water in your mosquito-breeding property.
EEE may first appear as fever, chills, and pain. In serious cases, the disease progresses to encephalitis with headache, disorientation, tremor, seizures and paralysis, which can cause brain damage and death. Although it is rare for one person to get EEE, one-third of those who die will die, health officials say.