Aerial spraying planned for La Porte County to combat EEE

The outlined area shows where aerial mosquito spraying will take place

LA PORTE COUNTY, Ind.— The La Porte County Health Department said Monday that aerial spraying will be conducted after the confirmation of a human case of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in the county.

The aerial spraying will occur Tuesday evening and continue Wednesday, weather permitting, the health department said.

As of September 18, one lab-confirmed human case of EEE has been reported in La Porte County, and cases have been identified in two horses in LaGrange County, one horse in Kosciusko County, and one horse in La Porte County, according to the state health department.

Three additional horses in LaGrange County are listed as suspected cases of EEE cases.

Dibrom, a pesticide, will be applied to the area as an ultra-low volume spray in form of fine aerosol droplets that stay suspended in the air to kill mosquitoes on contact, the state health department said.

State health officials recommend that all Hoosiers take the following steps to prevent mosquito bites:

  • The spraying is not expected to pose a risk to humans, state health officials said.
  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn, and early morning)
  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or 2-undecanone on clothes and exposed skin
  • Cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves and long pants in places where mosquitoes are especially active, such as wooded areas
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home

You can eliminate mosquito breeding sites from your property by doing the following:

  • Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold water
  • Repair failed septic systems
  • Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors
  • Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed
  • Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains
  • Frequently replace the water in pet bowls
  • Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically
  • Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish

While rare, EEE virus can cause serious illness and has a fatality rate of around 33 percent or higher in people. Many individuals who recover may still experience long-term complications.

Symptoms of EEE virus include chills, fever, body aches and joint pain. Some people develop a more severe form of the disease affecting the nervous system and causing encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain.

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