Michigan health officials have identified the state's first confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) for 2015 in Macomb, Monroe, and Ottawa counties, and are reminding people to protect themselves against mosquito bites.
"We have clear evidence that West Nile virus is present in the state again this summer," says Dr. Eden Wells, Chief Medical Executive at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. "Even late in the season, remembering to take a few minutes to protect ourselves and our loved ones from mosquito bites when outside can make a big difference."
Statewide, 57 birds have tested positive for WNV so far this season, and 11 WNV positive mosquito pools have been detected form Bay, Kent, Oakland, Saginaw, and Wayne counties. Infected birds and mosquitoes can provide an early warning of WNV activity in a community.
For the most current information on mosquito-borne virus activity in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/westnilevirus.
Michigan residents are encouraged to take the following steps to avoid WNV:
· 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.
· Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other EPA approved
product to exposed skin or clothing, and always following the manufacturer's directions
· Wear light colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect
repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
Take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours between dusk and dawn. Use repellent and
protective clothing, or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.
Choose a repellent concentration rated for the time you will spend outdoors. When applying
repellent to children, apply it to your own hands and rub them on the child. Avoid the eyes and
mouth and do not apply to children's hands because they sometimes put their hands in their
Do not apply repellents to infants under 6 months of age and instead place nets over
strollers and baby carriers.