(WZZM) - The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) says West Nile Virus is at its peak in Michigan.
There are now 80 reported cases in the state and four deaths. The latest death was an 86-year-old woman in Wayne County. There are currently 23 cases of West Nile Virus in Kent County. All of the deaths have been on the east side of the state.
There have been 62 hospitalizations this year for encephalitis or meningitis contracted from being bitten by a mosquito with West Nile Virus.
The highest concentrations of West Nile outbreaks have been seen in Kent County and the Detroit area. MDCH experts say that is because of a higher concentration of post-war housing located in those residential areas. Those areas in Kent County are parts of Kentwood, Wyoming and the central part of the city of Grand Rapids.
The close proximity of the housing, sewers and catch basins makes for a perfect breeding ground for the Northern House Mosquito which carries West Nile Virus. These mosquitoes come out at night and can easily find their way into homes, biting residents while they sleep. Your best protection against these mosquitoes is to keep your windows closed and wear repellant when outdoors.
West Nile Virus will continue to be active in our area through the beginning of October. However as nighttime temperatures dip below 50 degrees at night we will begin to see fewer cases as mosquitoes die off.
Experts think a mild winter, early spring and hot summer have helped stimulate mosquito breeding and the spread of the virus.