Aerial spraying for EEE postponed in all 14 scheduled counties

LANSING, Mich. — After calling off several of its sprays earlier Sunday afternoon, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced all aerial sprays to help prevent Eastern equine encephalitis have been postponed due to inclement weather.

Treatment was set to begin at 8 p.m. Sunday in several counties. However, state officials said they have been put on hold because of ongoing rain and cloud cover.

Any updates to the spray treatments will be posted to michigan.gov/EEE.

Earlier Sunday, officials announced spraying in Kalamazoo and Portage was called off due to the large number of residents choosing the opt-out option, that a spray in the area would not be effective.

EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33 percent fatality rate in people who become ill. So far, nine human cases have been confirmed in Michigan, with three of them becoming fatal. Twenty-seven animal cases have also been confirmed.

Signs of EEE infection include the sudden onset of fever, chills, body and joint aches, which can progress to severe encephalitis, further resulting in headache, disorientation, tremors, seizures, and paralysis. Permanent brain damage, coma, and death may also occur in some cases.

People can reduce their risks by using bug spray with DEET, avoiding being outside at dusk, wearing long sleeve clothing, and getting rid of standing water on their property.

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