top of page

10-17-2019 Fifth death due to Eastern Equine Encephalitis announced; new animal case confirmed; citi

LAST YEAR… Watervliet Middle School Student Council members Ella Harris (left) and Lauren Laws (right) spearheaded the idea to have water bottle filling stations installed in Watervliet Middle School. Student Council donated $600 towards the completion of this project. Congratulations to Lauren and Ella for making their school a better place and helping to save the environment.

Fifth death due to Eastern Equine Encephalitis announced; new animal case confirmed; citizens urged to continue taking precautions until hard frost occurs

A fifth death due to Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been confirmed in a Cass County resident and an additional horse has been diagnosed with the disease in Allegan County, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Monday. And although frost is predicted in parts of the state this week, MDHHS urges residents to continue taking precautions against mosquitoes. “The risk of EEE continues if there has not been a sustained period of freezing temperatures,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for MDHHS. “We urge residents to continue taking precautions against mosquito bites.”

The latest animal case confirmed in Allegan County showed symptoms of the disease on Oct. 1. Parts of Allegan County were treated Oct. 3 and 6. In total, EEE has been confirmed in 10 people, with five fatalities. Cases resided in Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties. In addition, EEE been confirmed in 40 animals from 16 counties: Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Genesee, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lapeer, Livingston, Montcalm, Newaygo, St. Joseph, Tuscola and Van Buren. EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33 percent fatality rate in people who become ill and leaving many survivors with physical and mental disabilities. People can be infected with EEE from the bite of a mosquito carrying the virus. Aerial treatment covering more than 557,000 acres targeting 14 counties was completed Oct. 7 to help combat EEE.

Residents should continue to protect themselves from mosquito bites by: Avoiding being outdoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes that carry the EEE virus are most active; applying insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered product to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use; wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites; maintaining window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside; emptying water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddies pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs; using nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.

COMMUNITY SERVICE AIDS CROSSING GUARDS… 2019 Hartford High School graduate Janell Babcock completed her senior community service project by soliciting donations in support of the city’s crossing guards. Raising in excess of $900, she was able to provide eight new safety cones, and two LED stop signs and three high-visibility safety vests! Crediting Hanson Logistics, Kellogg’s Hardware and Big Twin, Janell is pictured with High School Principal & District Safety Officer Dave Janicki, Reserve Sgt. Jim Coleman and School Resource Officer Brandon Bowman, who is also a Hartford alumnus, from 2011. Hartford Police Chief Tressa Beltran says, “It’s truly awesome to see one of our grads put forth the effort to help insure the safety of students of all ages throughout our city.”

We salute the victims of Breast Cancer, their families and the caregivers who support them October 2019: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer, it’s a scary thought and all too many women assume that it won’t happen to them. Fact is though, in 2019, about 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. So, don’t be ignorant, during breast cancer awareness month October 2019 go for a medical checkup, it might save your life. estimates that 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 62,930 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer. In addition, about 2,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2019. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 883.

Early signs of breast cancer can be a lump in a breast, a painful breast or armpit, or a discharge from the nipple. Even if none of these symptoms present themselves, a doctor should be visited to be sure. A doctor will most likely perform a manual exam and send you for a mammogram. A mammogram examination is painless and only takes about ten minutes. If any of these symptoms do present themselves there’s no need to panic. Plenty of times, pain or a lump in a breast can be perfectly harmless. The pain can be a sign of a cyst or the lump can be benign. It’s always better to be sure though. If the mammogram shows a lump, your doctor will order a biopsy. This test will show if the lump is benign (harmless) or malignant (cancerous). If the lump is cancerous there’s still no reason to panic. Early detection is a life saver. By way of a simple operation the lump is removed after which the doctor will discuss further options with you.

Breast Health Q&A Who is at risk for breast cancer?

Everyone is at risk for breast cancer. The two most important risk factors are being female and getting older. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer have no other known factors. What can I do to reduce my risk of getting breast cancer? There is no sure way to avoid breast cancer. But, you can do things that may improve your overall health. Maintain a healthy weight. Exercise and eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. My mother had breast cancer a few years ago. Does that mean that I will

get breast cancer too? We don’t know what causes breast cancer. But, most women who get breast cancer have no family history of the disease. If someone in your family has had breast cancer or you are concerned about your risk, talk to your doctor. Learn about your choices and ask when to start getting mammograms.

I am currently taking birth control pills. Do birth control pills increase my chance of developing breast cancer? If you are currently taking birth control pills, your breast cancer risk is slightly increased. The increased risk from using birth control pills becomes less after you have stopped using them. After about 10 years your risk returns to normal. Does drinking alcohol increase my chance of breast cancer? Studies have shown that drinking alcohol can increase your risk for breast cancer.

My breasts feel lumpy and tender at certain times of the month. Does this increase my chance for breast cancer? Breast lumpiness with tenderness or pain at certain times of the month is called fibrocystic breast changes. These breast changes are common, especially before your period, and do not increase your chance of getting breast cancer. Get to know the way your breasts look and feel. Learn what is normal for you. If you notice any change, see your doctor right away. For more information or if you have other questions about your breast health or breast cancer, please call our breast care helpline (1-877-465-6636) or visit

bottom of page