LANSING, Mich. - The first cases of West Nile Virus in Michigan have been reported, including one case in West Michigan.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed Thursday that the virus was found in mosquitoes recently collected in Saginaw and Oakland counties, as well as a Canada goose in Kalamazoo County.
Symptoms of West Nile virus include a high fever, confusion, muscles weakness and a severe headache. More serious complications include neurological illnesses, such as meningitis and encephalitis.
Last year, there were 104 serious illnesses and nine deaths related to West Nile virus in Michigan. Nationally, there were 2,544 human cases of the virus and 137 deaths reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2018.
The best way to protect against West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses is to prevent mosquito bites.
“It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause a severe illness, so take extra care during peak mosquito-biting hours, which are dusk and dawn,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health. “We urge Michiganders to take precautions such as using insect repellant wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors during those time periods.”
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