Mosquito pool tests positive for West Nile Virus in Oakland County

The first mosquito pool testing positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) has been found in a trap set in Oakland County. Compared to last year, this is earlier in the summer season for a mosquito to test positive for the WNV. Oakland County residents are urged to protect themselves from the threat of WNV by taking necessary precautions.


“Although no human cases of the virus have been confirmed in Oakland County this year, residents are urged to be cautious when spending time outdoors,” said Kathy Forzley, Oakland County Health Division manager/health officer. “The most effective way to protect yourself and your family against West Nile Virus is to take precautions against mosquito bites.”

Follow these tips to prevent a mosquito bite:

• Spray clothing and exposed skin with insect repellent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends use of insect repellents containing active ingredients registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Two products registered with the EPA that have shown a high degree of effectiveness are DEET and Picaridin. Always follow
manufacturer’s directions carefully, especially when using on children.

• Minimize activities where mosquitoes are present, such as shaded areas.

• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants outdoors.

• Maintain window and door screening to keep mosquitoes out of buildings.

• Eliminate standing water in your yard. Empty water from mosquito breeding sites, such as flower pots, pet bowls, clogged rain gutters, swimming pool covers, discarded tires, buckets,
barrels, cans, and similar items in which mosquitoes can lay eggs.

• To report a single (1) dead bird, visit www.michigandnr.com/diseasedwildlifereporting/disease_obsreport.asp. To report three (3) or more dead birds call 517-336-5030.

WNV is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause inflammation and swelling of the brain. Mosquitoes are infected by biting a bird that carries the virus. WNV is then spread to humans through the bite of the infected mosquito. Most people who are infected with the virus have either no symptoms or experience a mild illness such as fever, headache, and body aches. However, in some individuals, particularly the elderly, a much more serious disease affecting the brain tissue can develop.
 
For up-to-date public health information, visit www.oakgov.com/health or find Public Health Oakland on Facebook and Twitter @publichealthOC.
 

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