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Michigan's first mosquito-borne virus of 2022 found in Bay County

The MDHHS says they found mosquitoes carrying Jamestown Canyon virus, the first detected mosquito-borne virus of the year.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

BAY COUNTY, Mich — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has found the first instance of a mosquito-borne virus in Michigan this season.

MDHHS announced Thursday that mosquitoes recently collected in Bay County have tested positive for Jamestown Canyon virus, which can be spread to humans who are bitten by infected mosquitoes.

People infected by Jamestown Canyon virus will notice symptoms anywhere from a few days after infection up to two weeks. Most infected people do not become ill, but in rare cases, it can cause severe disease in the brain and/or spinal cord including encephalitis and meningitis.

Initial symptoms for the virus include fever, headache and fatigue.

“It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause a severe illness,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “We urge Michiganders to take precautions such as using an EPA-registered insect repellent when outdoors, avoiding areas where mosquitoes are present if possible, and wearing clothing to cover arms and legs to prevent bites.”

In 2021, there were six instances of Michiganders becoming ill from Jamestown Canyon virus. Last year there was also 46 reported cases of West Nile virus, seven of which resulted in death, and one case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus.

The MDHHS provided some tips on how Michiganders can protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases: 

  • Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other EPA-approved products to exposed skin or clothing. Always follow 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.
  • 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.

Learn more at Michigan.gov/EmergingDiseases.

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