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Oakland County blood donor tests positive for West Nile virus, health officials say

First 2019 blood donation in Oakland County to test positive for West Nile virus

Mosquito (WDIV)
Mosquito (WDIV)

PONTIAC, Mich. – A blood donor in Oakland County tested positive for West Nile virus, according to health officials.

Members of the Oakland County Health Division were notified about the positive test Thursday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

It's the first blood donation in Oakland County to test positive for the virus this year, officials said.

"Mosquitos are present until temperatures are consistently below 50 degrees," said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County. "Continue to use insect repellent and take preventive measures to prevent disease and avoid mosquito bites."

Here are some tips for preventing mosquito bites:

  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent. All EPA-registered insect repellents are evaluated for safety and effectiveness, and will contain DEET , picaridin , IR3535 , Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol as the active ingredient. Repellents containing a higher percentage of the active ingredient typically provide longer-lasting protection. Always follow the product label instructions.
    • Be careful using repellent on the hands of children as it may irritate the eyes and mouth.
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by removing standing water around your home:
    • Turn over any type of container that can collect water. Once a week, empty out items that hold water such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, pet bowls, flowerpots, and trash containers.
    • Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains.
    • Treat standing water that cannot be eliminated, such as retention ponds or drainage ditches, with a mosquito larvicide. Mosquito larvicide is easy to use and can be purchased at most home improvement stores.
  • Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Limit outdoor activity from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Maintain window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of buildings. Do not prop open doors.

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