State sprays 14 counties to combat mosquito virus

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Aerial organic pesticide spraying has been completed in 14 counties in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula to combat eastern equine encephalitis, a rare mosquito-borne virus.

Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services says Tuesday that the treatment covers more than 557,000 acres (225,409 hectares).

Four of 10 people confirmed to have the virus in Michigan have died. Several dozen cases have been confirmed in horses and other animals.

State and local officials continue to urge residents to take precautions such as avoiding being outdoors from dusk to dawn, applying insect repellants and wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants. Mosquitoes generally do not die until the first hard frost.

Other states, including Massachusetts and Rhode Island, have recently done similar aerial spraying.