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Michigan's first human case of West Nile virus for 2020 confirmed

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Posted at 6:25 PM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 18:25:35-04
(WXYZ) —

State health officials have confirmed the first human case of the West Nile virus in Michigan this year.

The case is in a Wayne County resident.

“As we approach a long holiday weekend, it’s vital to continue protecting your family from mosquito bites,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause a severe illness, so take extra care during peak mosquito-biting hours, which are dusk and dawn for the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus and Eastern Equine encephalitis virus.”

Already this year, two birds have tested positive for the virus in Lapeer and Oakland counties. Additionally, 14 West Nile Virus positive mosquito pools have been detected in theses five Michigan counties: Arenac, Kent, Lapeer, Oakland and Saginaw, health officials say.

The following steps are recommended to avoid WNV, EEE and other mosquito-borne diseases:

  • Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other EPA-approved product to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use. Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
  • Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs.
  • Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.