Contact: Scott Turske
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2022
West Nile Virus Detected in Macomb County
Residents Urged to Protect Against Mosquito Bites
The Macomb County Health Department is reminding all residents to take precautions to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites during the remaining days of summer and into the early fall. The West Nile Virus (WNV) was recently detected for the first time this summer in two samplings of mosquitoes gathered in Macomb County. So far, no confirmed cases of human WNV cases have been reported in Michigan.
“This discovery by our surveillance team is important because it lets us know that this season’s mosquitoes are now carrying the virus – which could spread to humans,” said Andrew Cox, Director/Health Officer at the Macomb County Health Department, “We encourage everyone to take steps to prevent mosquito bites to the greatest extent possible.”
Macomb County residents are reminded to take the following measures to prevent mosquito bites:
- 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.
WNV 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. 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.
For more information about the disease please visit our website at http://health.macombgov.org/Health-Programs-EnvironmentalHealth-Safety-WestNileVirus.
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