West Nile Virus found in Michigan ruffed grouse - WNEM TV 5

West Nile Virus found in Michigan ruffed grouse

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For the first time, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed the presence of West Nile Virus in the state’s ruffed grouse population.

Five birds were collected from August through October. Two were found dead and three were shot by hunters.

Two came from Iron County and the other three came from Delta, Roscommon and Missaukee County.

The birds were sent to the DNR’s Wildlife Disease Laboratory in Lansing for testing where the virus was confirmed.

West Nile Virus is mainly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Most people infected with the virus do not show symptoms.

There is no evidence of human infection of West Nile Virus from eating properly cooked game.

As a general precaution, wild game meat should be cooked thoroughly to an internal temperature of 170 to 180 degrees.

Hunters should wear gloves when handling or cleaning game.

“We’ve had West Nile Virus in Michigan since 2002,” said Thomas Cooley, DNR wildlife biologist and pathologist at the Wildlife Disease Laboratory. “It’s the first year that we’ve seen it in grouse.”

This year, more than 200 animals have been confirmed with West Nile Virus from 60 out of 83 Michigan counties.  

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said there have been 39 reported human cases of West Nile Virus in Michigan this year.

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