Mosquitoes are a problem every year for Michiganders. Not only are they annoying but they also carry deadly diseases. Just last week, the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services advised people to cancel outdoor activities after dusk due to an outbreak of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

Due to this outbreak, on Monday, the state announced that they've planned aerial treatments to kill off mosquitoes in high-risk areas across the state.

In order to prevent the loss of life and protect public health, MDHHS has determined a targeted aerial treatment plan is necessary. When there are high rates of animal infections, humans are just as at risk.

The following 10 counties where EEE was found will be sprayed:

The number in parenthesis represents how many to-date cases in each county.

  • Barry (1)
  • Clare (5)
  • Ionia (1)
  • Isabella (1)
  • Jackson (1)
  • Kent (1)
  • Mecosta (1)
  • Montcalm (7)
  • Newaygo (2)
  • Oakland (2)

Treatments are scheduled to begin around 8 p.m. Wednesday, the 16th, weather depending.

EEE is a mosquito-borne virus that is contracted when a mosquito feeds on a dead horse. A vaccine is available for horses but not humans. It is especially dangerous to kids 15 and younger and those over 50.

As of the 14th, there have been 22 cases of EEE in animals and all are being investigated.

If you're curious how the actual aerial treatment takes place, you won't even notice it. According to MDHHS, the insecticides will be released from a plane carrying an ultra-low volume spray with "very fine aerosol droplets" which go through the air and kill adult mosquitoes on contact. This has no harm to humans.

The treatment will only be done at night and residents are asked to cover any small ornamental ponds that contain animals.

While the treatment will help the mosquito problem it won't eliminate it. People are encouraged to still take the necessary steps to keep themselves, families, and pets safe. This includes avoiding nighttime activities, bringing pets indoors at night, using insect repellent with DEET, and getting rid of standing water.

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