Kalamazoo Co. Testing Mosquitos For EEE & Zika Virus
Summer is just about over but that's not stopping Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department on testing mosquitos for serious diseases.
We Michiganders are so very luck to have so many lakes, rivers, streams, forests, farm fields, state parks, national parks and a good taste of all 4 seasons. With all this awesomeness Michigan provides there are a couple pesky downfalls, freezing temperatures, to much snow to shovel, ranking piles of leaves and...wait for it...pesky mosquitos.
Having to deal with mosquitos is one thing, but ones who carry life threatening diseases in another.
According to FOX 17, the KCHCSD is not wasting the last part of the summer to catch and test different species of mosquitoes for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus.
You are thinking, well at least I was, how the heck do they catch mosquitos? Well apparently, like mice or rats, they use a trap. No, not a mouse trap but a resting box that looks similar to a disposable plant pot. You may see these around Kalamazoo County, so please don't disturb them, its for your safety.
My next question was why are Kalamazoo health officials waiting until now to test these mosquitos? Its because this is the time of year when cases of the EEE or the Zika virus begin to start happening. Actually the KCHCSD has been doing this since back in May so its about a six month on going activity.
These traps are all about prevention. Cases of EEE have been found in Kalamazoo in animals and people in 2019 and so far no cases have been found with the Zika virus but being proactive is the point.
Testing has shown that mosquitos with EEE are here in Michigan and native to the region.
So far seven different Kalamazoo locations are being used to trap mosquitos using over 25 traps. Once they catch the mosquitos they are removed from the trap, frozen. Then identified and tested.
I often worry about my son, he is young and doesn't pay attention and gets bit often so to protect yourself when being out side, its best to use mosquito spray that contains DEET, wear long sleeves, pants and believe it or not, light colored clothing. Mosquitos are used to going after animals that are brown, black or generally dark colored so they are wired to seek out moving objects that are a darker color.
There is another test that is going as well and this one involves ticks and monitoring them for lime disease.