MDHHS: First confirmed human cases of West Nile reported in MI - WNEM TV 5

MDHHS: First confirmed human cases of West Nile reported in MI

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Four people have been diagnosed with the West Nile virus in Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The four cases are the first confirmed cases of the year.

Two of the people are Montcalm County residents, one is from Oakland County and the other is from Macomb County.

All four have been hospitalized from their illness, the MDHHS said.

“This is an important reminder to stay vigilant and protect against mosquito bites throughout the summer and into the fall,” said Dr. Eden Wells, Chief Medical Executive at the MDHHS.  “All residents should take steps to prevent bites, such as use repellent and take extra care during peak mosquito-biting hours between dusk and dawn.”

The four people contracted the virus from early to mid August, the MDHHS said.

In addition to the four reported cases, five Michigan blood donors have had the virus detected in their blood, the MDHHS said.

The virus has been detected in 148 birds in 44 of Michigan's counties so far this year, the MDHHS said.

"Most people who become infected with WNV will not develop any symptoms of illness. However, some become sick three to 15 days after exposure. About one-in-five infected persons will have mild illness with fever, and about one in 150 infected people will become severely ill," the MDHHS said in a press release.

The following steps are recommended to avoid WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases:

  • Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs.
  • Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.
  • Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other EPA approved product to exposed skin or clothing, and always following the manufacturer’s directions for use.
  • Wear light colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.

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