Kalamazoo seeking out disease-spreading mosquitos
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The Kalamazoo County Health Department and the Community Services Department – Environmental Health Unit are participating in a program hunting for the mosquito that carries the Zika Virus.
According to the Center for Disease and Prevention there have been 181 reported cases of the Zika Virus in 2017, six of which were in Michigan.
The county says that southern Michigan is in the “plume of potential migration of the Aedes albopictus mosquito, (Asian Tiger Mosquito), an insect that has been known to carry the Zika virus.”
“Residents should be aware of mosquitos and the issues associated with them in order to prevent mosquito borne diseases,” said Vern Johnson, Environmental Health Manager in a press release. “It’s important for residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites and plan ahead before going outdoors.”
Officials will be setting traps and collecting mosquitoes from five different locations. They will be reporting information from the caught mosquitoes to the CDC and will be hosting community events to inform the public.
To prevent the number of cases from growing the county is offering tips that individuals can do to help the cause.
- Empty and wash out any container that collects water. Small pools, feeding bowls, open rain collection barrels, buckets, birdbaths are just some examples of items that can collect standing water which is the breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Keep all trash covered.
- Screens on windows will help keep you safe not only from mosquitoes but also other pets.
- When out and about use repellent a repellent such as DEET. You can also treat clothing with permethrin to repel insects. The department wants to remind families to follow directions and be safe while using repellents.