Hamburg/Green Oak area set for aerial spraying after horse infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis

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The ongoing public health response to Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Livingston County Health Department (LCHD) now includes an area in both Hamburg and Green Oak townships in Livingston County that is selected for aerial spraying to reduce the mosquito population. This determination was made in support of the ongoing public health risk of potential exposure to EEE, a deadly mosquito-borne virus that is impacting the state.

On Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) confirmed a case of EEE in an unvaccinated horse in Hamburg Township. The horse was euthanized Sept. 23, the same day it began showing symptoms. In collaboration with MDHHS, it was determined that an aerial spray of the impacted area will lower the mosquito population and reduce the public health risk of contracting EEE in both humans and animals.

At this time, a scheduled evening for spraying in Livingston County has not been determined.

The ability to spray selected areas depends on many factors including weather, wind speed, and temperature. This decision is made prior to sunset each evening and spraying would begin after dusk and throughout the night until prior to sunrise. MDHHS is providing daily updates to LCHD, along with other county health departments, about the planned aerial treatment schedule for each evening.

The plan for aerial spraying and the list of participating communities is provided on the MDHHS EEE website at www.michigan.gov/EEE. LCHD will continue to communicate the schedule to residents through press releases, website updates (lchd.org) and/or Facebook posts.

LCHD is working with neighboring Washtenaw County Health Department since the identified spray area crosses county lines and will impact some residents of Washtenaw County. If an individual wishes to opt out of the application, under MDARD rules, an area of 1,000 feet x 1,000 feet would not be sprayed around the residence. This will reduce the overall treatment effectiveness in the area. Mosquito populations
upwind of the opt-out area will not be reduced, and neighbors will not benefit from the reduction in mosquito numbers.

Before exercising this option, recall that EEE is highly deadly, and that this aerial spraying does not carry any significant risks to human health, pets or the environment. While it is unnecessary to do so, you can further reduce your exposure by staying indoors, and closing windows and doors. If, for whatever reason, you would still prefer that spraying not occur in your area, you may send an email with your name and full residential address to eee@michigan.gov. The request to opt out of spraying must be received at least 48 hours before spraying begins.

For additional information on EEE, including Frequently Asked Questions and updates on EEE activity across the state, visit Michigan.gov/EEE.

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