Posted By Tom Plahutnik, Web Editor/Producer - email
SAGINAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -
Both Bay and Saginaw county Mosquito Control report the discovery of West Nile virus in mosquitoes in samples collected during the last two weeks.
The Bay County discovery came from Bangor Township and officials said citizens do not need to panic regarding the news, but can instead help officials eliminate sources of standing, stagnant water on their properties.
Saginaw County Mosquito Abatement Commission has detected four mosquito pools that are presumptively positive for West Nile virus. The positive samples were all collected July 30, 2012 and were collected from the City of Saginaw, Blumfield Township, Taymouth Township, and the Village of Chesaning. This brings our total for the year to a total of five positive mosquito pools.
This is the tenth year since 2002 that WNV has been detected in Saginaw County. Citizens are encouraged to take appropriate measures to avoid mosquito bites and are strongly encouraged to contact the Commissions office at 755-5751 if they notice a crow or blue jay that has been dead for less than 24 hours.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most people who contract the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.
Only about two people in 10 who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any illness. Illness from West Nile is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches. About one in 150 people suffer serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and which may result in death.
Persons older than 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease. Currently the CDC has reported 24 human cases of WNV in Michigan including 1 death.
The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Precautions include:
Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, light colored long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET or picaridin, according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.
Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding, including water in bird baths, abandoned swimming pools, wading pools, old tires and any other object holding water. Contact SCMAC to report stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards, fields or similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.
Copyright WNEM 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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