Michigan fights outbreak of deadly disease that isn’t covid…

Related

By Mimi Dwyer

After months of trying to contain the coronavirus pandemic, officials in Michigan intensified their fight on Thursday against a different and potentially deadlier disease: Eastern equine encephalitis, a brain infection transmitted by mosquitoes.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday it had ramped up nighttime aerial anti-mosquito spraying in high-risk areas of western Michigan after announcing it suspects that 28 horses and one human have contracted the disease in 11 counties in the state.

Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is present across the eastern United States as well as parts of the Midwest, but is generally rare in humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It kills up to 30% of people infected with it and also causes long-term neurological damage. As of Sept. 9, only 5 people in the United States had been diagnosed with the disease in 2020, CDC data showed. That number does not include the Michigan case.

Officials were scrambling to respond quickly to the potential outbreak. Planes began spraying Merus 3.0, a plant-based insecticide, over parts of the state Wednesday night, the Michigan health department said in a statement. The state sprayed the pesticide over more than 500,000 acres in 2019.

An automated voice message at the state health agency informed residents they would not be allowed to opt out of the spraying. Local officials in the past have voiced concern over the potential effects of the spray, including its ability to harm honeybees. Michigan last year allowed residents to opt out of spraying.

The state said that “health risks are not expected” from the spray when it announced treatment plans on Monday. But it warned residents to cover ornamental fish ponds, as well as consider canceling outdoor activities to mitigate the risk of mosquito bites.

(Reporting by Mimi Dwyer; editing by Bill Tarrant and Cynthia Osterman)

- Advertisement -
SourceReuters

Add your comment(s)

 

Latest

Doctors probe whether COVID-19 is causing diabetes

By Chad Terhune Mario Buelna, a healthy 28-year-old father, caught a fever and started having trouble breathing in June. He soon tested positive for COVID-19. Weeks...

China warns U.S. it may detain Americans over prosecutions

The Chinese government has warned Washington it may detain Americans in China in response to the Justice Department's prosecution of Chinese military-affiliated scholars, the...

Europe weighs risk of a disputed result as U.S. election looms

By Robin Emmott, Andreas Rinke and Luke Baker With less than three weeks until the U.S. presidential election, European capitals are concerned about the risk...

U.S. judge strikes down USDA rule on food benefits during pandemic

By Bhargav Acharya A U.S. federal judge has struck down a Trump administration rule that would have cut food stamp benefits to almost 700,000 unemployed...

Study suggests, ICUs without air-conditioning could shield doctors from COVID-19

By Anuron Kumar Mitra Intensive care units (ICUs) at hospitals treating COVID-19 patients should do away with air-conditioning to limit the risk of infecting doctors,...

Trending