Kent Co. resident dies after contracting West Nile Virus

Posted at 11:57 AM, Aug 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-27 11:57:29-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Kent County Health Department says that a resident has died from the West Nile Virus.

A spokesperson for the departments says they learned that the resident who had been hospitalized after contracting the virus has died from complications of the illness.

The virus is spread through bites from mosquitoes.  The department had previously announced a 400% increase in the number of Culex mosquitoes this season, which are the mosquito known to carry the virus.

The Kent County Health Department has warned that they expect higher numbers of human West Nile cases this season.

To prevent catching West Nile, you should take measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.  You should apply insect repellant containing DEET and avoid being outside during the dawn and dusk hours when mosquito activity is highest.

Only about 20% of those who get infected with West Nile will notice any symptoms.  Symptoms include headache, body aches, joint pains and fatigue. Most people fully recover, but for some, it can develop into a severe illness that affects the central nervous system.

We’ll have more details when they become available.