Eastern Equine Encephalitis
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aerial Mosquito Spraying in Grass Lake and Concord Townships
JACKSON COUNTY, MI- A portion of Grass Lake and Concord Townships may be sprayed tonight, October 3, to control for mosquitoes that carry Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE. Aerial spraying is weather dependent. All spraying in the State will begin at dusk and conclude by 4:30 AM on October 4.
“We ask you to take extra precautions such as wearing bug spray with DEET, remaining indoors as possible, and wearing long sleeves and pants,” says Rashmi Travis, Jackson County Health Department Health Officer. “Spraying is another effective way to minimize risk.”
Aerial spraying is conducted by low-flying aircraft, beginning at dusk and continuing until 4:30 a.m. the next morning, in areas of concern. Mosquito control professionals will apply approved pesticides as an ultra-low volume (ULV) spray. ULV sprayers dispense very fine aerosol droplets that stay suspended in the air and kill adult mosquitoes on contact. This is a tactic other states, including Massachusetts and Rhode Island, have recently employed to combat EEE.
Aerial spraying will be conducted in the nighttime hours as this is when mosquitos are most active. It is also when fish are less likely to be at the surface feeding and honeybees are most likely to be in their hives. However, owners should cover small ornamental fishponds during the night of spraying. While it is not necessary to bring animals indoors during spraying, concerned pet owners can bring animals inside during spraying.
Additional information about aerial spraying and other health-related information is available in a Frequently Asked Questions document at Michigan.gov/EEE.
EEE is a very rare, but serious disease caused by a virus. The virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they bite infected birds. Mosquitoes spread the virus to humans or other mammals, like horses or deer. EEE is only spread by mosquitoes; it cannot be spread to you by other humans or animals.
Even if bitten by a mosquito that carries EEE, people have only a 4-5% chance of developing the disease. Symptoms usually occur within 4-10 days after the infected mosquito bite. Symptoms can be severe, including sudden onset of high fever, headache, stiff neck, and can cause swelling of the brain, leading to seizures, coma, or death.
Individuals who are over the age of 50, under the age of 15, or have compromised immune systems due to underlying medical conditions or treatments are at elevated risk for contracting the virus.
Avoid mosquito bites by doing the following:
- Use an EPA-approved insect repellent containing an active ingredient like DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and/or clothing. Always follow the directions on the package.
- Wear long sleeves and pants when outdoors as the weather permits.
- Consider limiting time outdoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Maintain window and door screening to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets, children's toys, or other containers around your home.
Anyone concerned about the spraying process can email: firstname.lastname@example.org.