West Nile Virus confirmed in Macomb County

By: Julie Snyder | C&G Newspapers | Published August 1, 2017

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MACOMB COUNTY — A Macomb County Health official confirmed today that the West Nile Virus has been detected for the first time this summer in two separate samplings of mosquitoes gathered in the county.

Health Department Director William Ridella said there have been no confirmed cases of a human contracting the virus in Michigan this year.

Ridella issued a list of precautions for the public to follow to protect themselves and their family from West Nile:

  • 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.
  • 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 birdbaths and keep gutters free of standing water.
  • Window and door screens should be in good repair to prevent mosquitoes from entering homes and buildings.
  • The West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans through infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected if they bite a bird infected with the virus. Health officials say 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.

For more information about the West Nile Virus, visit health.macombgov.org/Health-Programs-EnvironmentalHealth-Safety-WestNileVirus