Human case of EEE confirmed in Cass Co.; aerial treatment complete

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed a human case of Eastern equine encephalitis in Cass County.

The Cass County case makes 10 confirmed human cases in Michigan, which is higher than the total from the past decade. Four people have died from the rare mosquito-borne illness.

MDHHS said the onset for the latest case was Sept. 20, before aerial treatment for mosquitoes started on Sept. 30.

Aerial treatment was completed Monday night in northern Van Buren County. Other areas sprayed included portions of Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Kent, Montcalm, Newaygo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties.

MDHHS recommended areas in Kalamazoo County receive the aerial treatment, but too many residents opted out for the spray to be effective.

There are no further plans for aerial treatment at this time because weather conditions aren’t favorable. The state says to be most effective, the treatment should happen when overnight and evening temperatures are at least 50 degrees.

EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne illnesses in the country, carrying a 33% fatality rate for people who become ill. People are advised to protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing long sleeves and wearing bug spray containing DEET.

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