The rising fear of EEE, an incurable disease spread by infected mosquitoes, has led to a wide range of schedule changes for Friday night football in one district.
As reported by MLive.com, more than 20 scheduled high school football games in Michigan have been rescheduled to earlier hours to avoid exposure to the rapidly spreading, deadly mosquito-borne illness called EEE.
Games that were scheduled to kick off between 7 and 7:30 p.m. will now all start at either 5 or 5:30, with the exception of a matchup where Bangor (Mich.) High School is hosting Cassopolis (Mich.) High School. That game will kick at 4.
It’s unknown whether the schedule adjustments are actually successful in their attempt to drive down the risk of EEE contraction, but they are based around simple and solid science. By moving the kickoff times up, the schools are explicitly trying to move out of the peak evening hours for mosquito activity.
For now, that’s reality for school districts desperate to avoid EEE risk at all cost. As in a number of other states where EEE has popped up, Michigan has multiple cases of reported deaths that came in connection with EEE. There remains no cure for EEE once it has been contracted, and the only thing that will eradicate it, at least temporarily, is a cold snap that freezes off the mosquitoes en masse.
Given anticipated weather, that may not be in the offing in the immediate future, which means that this may not be the last time we see earlier kick offs, both in Michigan and other states where EEE has emerged.