Cold ends mosquito season, rare virus threat in SW Michigan


ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — Health officials in a southwestern Michigan county say cold weather has ended this year’s mosquito season and with it the threat of a deadly mosquito-borne virus.

Berrien County Health Department spokeswoman Gillian Conrad says recent cold, snowy weather wiped out mosquitoes that were spreading the eastern equine encephalitis virus.

Health officials say there were 10 confirmed human cases of that rare virus this year in southwest Michigan. Five of those people died.
Conrad tells WSBT-TV that officials have no way of predicting whether the virus will be a problem again in 2020 when mosquito season returns.

Berrien County and several other Michigan counties conducted aerial spraying of pesticides earlier this year to combat the mosquito-borne virus. Those were the first such aerial treatments in Michigan since 1980.

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