Eastern Equine Encephalitis | Michigan Radio
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Eastern Equine Encephalitis

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Five people have now died of Eastern Equine Encephalytis or EEE in Michigan. The illness is spread by mosquitos. The latest victim lived in Cass County.

Lynn Sutfin is with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

She says people should not let down their guard, even though freezing temperatures are forecast for some parts of lower Michigan Monday night.  

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed on October 2 a person in Battle Creek who contracted Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has died, bringing the total number of human fatalities to four.

On October 8, MDHHS announced that it has completed all aerial pesticide spraying, which covered more than 557,000 acres across 14 counties.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Michigan is experiencing its worst-ever outbreak of a sometimes deadly illness spread by mosquitoes. 

It's called Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE (Triple E) for short.   

Schools in West Michigan have been rescheduling a lot of outdoor sports these days to avoid dusk. That's when mosquitoes, possibly carrying EEE, are most active.

Philosopher Elizabeth Anderson stands in front of ivy covered wall
April Van Buren / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, how Governor Gretchen Whitmer used line-item vetoes to retool the state budget crafted by the Republican-controlled Legislature. Plus, we speak to the superintendent of a rural school district that could be the first in Michigan to let staff carry guns.

A mosquito
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For the first time since 1980, the state will use aerial pesticide spraying to try to curb the spread of a mosquito-borne virus.

The virus is Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). There have been nine reported human cases in Michigan so far, three of them fatal. There have also been 27 cases reported in animals, all of them fatal.

three mexican gray wolf pups
Courtesy of the Binder Park Zoo

Tests confirm two Mexican gray wolf pups at southern Michigan zoo have died of a rare mosquito-borne virus as health officials work to curb the spread of the virus in people and animals.

Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek says results received this week confirm the pups that died in early September were killed by Eastern equine encephalitis, which is also known as Triple-E. The two wolves were part of a litter born June 14 to a breeding pair of wolves at the zoo. The one wolf pup who survived appears healthy and is being monitored along with her parents. 

a mosquito filled with blood on the tip of a human finger
User: Oregon State University / Flickr CC / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The state health department is considering the use of pesticides in areas that are affected by Eastern Equine Encephalitis, also known as Triple-E. It's a mosquito-borne virus that can be fatal for people.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has reached out to local health officials in areas affected by the virus.