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EEE case confirmed in Kent County deer

Posted: 1:57 PM, Sep 26, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-26 13:58:03-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A deer in Kent County has tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis.

The Kent County Health Department said it is the first case of the rare mosquito-borne illness in the county. There aren’t any human cases of EEE or West Nile Virus, but the deer is evidence that EEE is present within Kent County.

People are advised to postpone or reschedule outdoor events that happen at dusk when mosquitoes are most active until the first hard frost of the year.

Michigan has had eight confirmed human cases of EEE, including three that were fatal.

Health departments in southwest Michigan have been taking precautions and advising residents to use bug spray containing DEET and keep themselves covered with long sleeves and pants. Schools have postponed or rescheduled evening events in recent weeks to limit exposure.

Kalamazoo County’s health department has been working with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to discuss the possibility of targeting areas where insecticide would be sprayed to eliminate adult mosquitoes.

The chemical would be sprayed by airplane in targeted areas in southwest Michigan, where a majority of the confirmed cases have been.