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First Michigan ‘activity’ of West Nile virus in 2020 reported

Posted at 9:35 AM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 09:35:05-04

LANSING, Mich. — The West Nile virus has appeared in Michigan for the first time this year, but it’s not in a human.

“It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause a severe illness,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health at the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services.

West Nile was detected in a hawk captured in Lapeer County, east of Flint.

In 2019, records show 12 people got sick from WNV in Michigan.

That doesn’t sound like many, but illness from West Nile and Eastern equine encephalitis can be severe. Both can be caught through mosquito bites and can be severe. Symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, severe headache, and even confusion.

Keep track of these and other diseases and their sources through this state web page

Use these tactics to reduce the chance of mosquito bites:

  • Use insect repellents that are EPA registered and contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol or 2-undecanone.
  • Wear shoes, socks, light colored long pants, and long-sleeve shirt
  • Mke sure door and window screens are free of wholes and fight tight in their frames.
  • Eliminate standing water around your residence