West Nile Virus confirmed in mosquitoes in Macomb County

- Officials are reminding all residents to protect themselves from mosquitoes during the remaining summer months. The deadly West Nile Virus (WNV) was detected for the first time this summer in two separate samplings of mosquitoes gathered in Macomb County.

So far, no confirmed cases of human WNV cases have been reported in Michigan.

Use an insect repellent that contains DEET or picardin on clothing and exposed skin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends the use of oil of lemon eucalyptus as a more natural repellant. Manufacturer's directions should be closely followed when using these products.

Mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn. Residents should limit outdoor activities and wear pants and long sleeves, along with using repellent during these hours.

Areas of standing water, such as buckets, flower pots, barrels, and children's pools should be kept empty when not being used to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs. Change the water regularly in pet dishes and bird baths and keep gutters free of standing water.

Window and door screens should be in good repair to prevent mosquitoes from entering homes and buildings.

West Nile Virus is a disease transmitted to humans through infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected if they bite a bird infected with the virus. Many people infected with the virus will not have any symptoms or will experience a mild illness such as body aches, fever, and headache. A few people will develop more severe symptoms that could include encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).

Those at greatest risk to develop a severe illness include people 50 years and older, those with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, hypertension, and people who have received an organ transplant.

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