West Nile virus detected in mosquito pool at Royal Oak park

West Nile virus was recently detected in a mosquito pool at a Royal Oak park, according to the Oakland County Health Department.

Mosquito pooling is when the insects are collected for testing. A trap was set at Quickstad Park.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, there have been 24 West Nile virus-positive mosquito pools in the state as of Friday. There have been 2,672 mosquito pools tested.

The positive pools were in Arenac, Bay, Genesee, Gladwin, Huron,Iosco, Kent, Macomb, Midland, Oakland, Saginaw, and Wayne counties.

Mosquitoes pick up the virus from infected birds and pass it on to humans and animals.

One Detroit resident and three people from other Wayne County cities have gotten sick from West Nile virus, the MDHHS said. Three asymptomatic blood donors from Kalamazoo, Oakland, and Wayne counties have also tested positive.

Read: West Nile Virus confirmed in donated blood

Nine birds from Bay, Macomb, Saginaw, Shiawassee, and Wayne counties have tested positive for the virus. 

Some 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.

Tips to reduce chance of being bitten by an infected mosquito:

  • Use an insect repellent that contains DEET or picaridin 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.
  • People who work in outdoor occupations or like to spend time outdoors are also at increased risk for WNV infection from mosquito bites.
  • 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.