West Nile Virus Detected in Oakland, Macomb Residents – Macomb Daily
West Nile virus was detected in residents of Oakland and Macomb Counties, the first cases of the virus this season.
The best way to protect yourself from West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases like Eastern Equine Encephalitis is to prevent mosquito bites, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
“It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause serious illness. So be especially careful during the peak mosquito bite times, at dusk and dawn, ”said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS Chief Medical Executive and Assistant Director of Health. “As we head into the holiday weekend and beyond, we urge Michiganers to take precautions such as using insect repellant and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants outdoors during these periods.”
The risk of mosquito-borne diseases increases throughout the state throughout the mosquito season, peaking in August and September.
Over the past week, mosquitoes collected in the Detroit and Bay, Kent, Macomb, Midland, Oakland and Wayne counties tested positive for the WNV and Jamestown Canyon viruses. In addition, the EEE virus was identified in a sick Deer from Livingston County.
WNV is transmitted through a mosquito bite that ingested the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most people who become infected with the virus have no clinical symptoms of the disease, but some can get sick three to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms of an arbovirus infection like WNV typically include a high fever, confusion, muscle weakness, and severe headache. More serious complications are neurological conditions such as meningitis and encephalitis.
Precautions against mosquito bites are:
– Use of EPA registered insect repellants with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, Lemon Eucalyptus Oil or Para-Menthandiol and 2-Undecanone; Follow the directions on the product label and reapply as directed. Do not use any repellant on children under 2 months of age. Instead, dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs, and cover the crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito nets.
– Wearing shoes and socks, light-colored long trousers and long-sleeved shirts outdoors.
– Make sure that doors and windows have tight fitting bezels. Repair or replace screens with cracks or other openings.
– Using mosquito nets when sleeping outdoors or in conditions without window bars.
Eliminate all sources of standing water that can aid mosquito breeding in your home, including water in bird baths, abandoned swimming pools, paddling pools, old tires, and other items that hold water once a week.
So far, 22 mosquito samples, eight birds, a squirrel and a horse have tested positive for WNV. The EEE virus was found in a horse and deer from Livingston County and a mosquito sample from Barry County.