EEE virus emergence across Michigan spreads fear, causes schedule disruptions


Performing at the Chelsea Exhibition along with other local schools, the bands play in front of a college professor who critiques all of them to improve their skills. Most band members took extra precautions, including wearing bug spray with their longer clothes to prevent mosquito bites.

This Halloween, blood sucking vampires or brain devouring zombies were not trick or treaters’s main worry. There was a spooky virus to be concerned about: Transmitted by mosquitoes, the EEE virus lurked around the season.

The virus accounts for seven deaths across multiple states, three in Michigan, according to the Center for Diseases and Control, not to mention animals like horses.

EEE is affecting residents in Michigan including the village of Stockbridge. In response, Superintendent Karl Heidrich decided to make games and practices for outdoor sports start earlier to avoid the mosquitoes as they come out later in the day.

“Game wise the games have been starting earlier,” senior football player Tylin Ayers said. “So, it starts at five now for games. Practice wise, we don’t really push it really anymore; coaches try to get us out by 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. now instead of 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.”

As for students, it seems they are still uninformed about EEE.

Ayers recounted that “the only thing I know is that you die 15 days after you get infected. I got bit like two weeks ago and I’m still perfectly fine, but I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.”

Even though people might not know much about the disease the band and football teams are still taking their precautions.

“Well, I’ve heard a lot of rumors and that it kills you in like 10 days and it’s called encephalitis but thats all I know,” senior band member John Morris said.

EEE, also known as Eastern Equine Encephalitis, has many symptoms including: high fever, headache, tiredness, nausea/vomiting, neck stiffness, seizures, confusion (disorientation) and a coma according to Children’s Hospital.

In a geographic district that covers Ingham, Jackson, Livingston and Washtenaw counties, Heidrich paid attention to the recommendations of all the counties that the school covers and he made his decisions based off of that.