Saturday, 16 December, 2017

MI confirms its 1st West Nile virus activity of 2017

West Nile Virus West Nile Virus
Ben Pena | 19 May, 2017, 19:12

- Researches confirm the West Nile virus has been found in MI for the first time this year.

Not every mosquito has West Nile Virus, and not everyone who is bitten by an infected mosquito gets sick.

Mosquitoes that bite an infected bird can pass the virus to humans. Adults 50 and older have the highest risk of severe illness caused by West Nile virus, officials said.

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Mild symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, nausea and vomiting. The virus can also lead to more serious complications including neurological illnesses like meningitis and encephalitis.

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Last year, there were 43 serious illnesses and three deaths related to West Nile virus in MI.

"Everyone older than six months of age should use repellent outdoors", said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive of MDHHS in a press release.

Mosquitoes become infected with West Nile virus when they bite an infected bird, then transmit the virus onto humans by bite.

The health district says residents can lessen their chances of contracting the illnesses by using EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET (diethyltoluamide), Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or 2-undecanone; wearing trousers and long-sleeved shirts to reduce mosquito exposure when outdoors; and eliminating areas of standing water around the home, including non-circulating ponds, "green" swimming pools and accumulated sprinkler runoff. They will readily come indoors to bite if window and door screens are not maintained. As summer temperatures rise, mosquitoes and the virus develop more quickly so it is important to protect yourself from mosquito bites as the weather warms. Birds are the natural animal reservoir for the virus and carry it in their blood. Most birds don't show symptoms, MDHHS says, but certain birds like crows, blue jays and ravens, are more sensitive and more likely to become sick if infected.

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