GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - The first 2012 case of West Nile Virus in a person has been found in Kent County, while the Michigan Department of Community Health reports the first death in the state due to the virus.
The Kent County Health Department says that a 68-year-old man is recovering after being hospitalized with the virus. There are two other probable cases involving a 67-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman that are awaiting final test results. Both those people were also hospitalized and are recovering.
"We are very concerned about West Nile Virus after a mild winter and hot summer," said Cathy Raevsky, the Administrative Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department in a press release. "The disease can have severe complications in people over the age of fifty or in those who are already suffering from other medical conditions."
Michigan health officials are reporting that a Washtenaw County woman is the state's first human West Nile Virus death this year. The previously healthy woman, who was between ages 75 and 85, was hospitalized earlier this month after showing symptoms and has since passed away.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 43 states have reported WNV infections in 2012 so far.
The Michigan West Nile Virus website includes more about
transmission, symptoms and prevention.