MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – The West Nile virus was detected in a sampling of mosquitoes gathered in Macomb County for the first time this summer, officials said.
The Macomb County Health Department issued a reminder that residents should protect themselves from mosquito bites during the late summer and fall.
So far, no cases of the West Nile virus have been reported in humans this year in Michigan.
West Nile virus is transmitted to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected if they bite birds that have the virus.
Many people who become infected with West Nile virus have mild or no symptoms, but others could develop severe symptoms, including encephalitis or meningitis.
People 50 and older, those who have received an organ transplant and anyone with medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, kidney disease and hypertension are at the greatest risk of severe symptoms, health officials said.
Residents are reminded to take the following measures to prevent mosquito bites:
- Use an insect repellent that contains DEET or picardin on clothing and exposed skin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends the use of oil of lemon eucalyptus as a more natural repellant. Manufacturer’s directions should be closely followed when using these products.
- Mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn. Residents should limit outdoor activities and wear pants and long sleeves, along with using repellent during these hours.
- People who work in outdoor occupations or like to spend time outdoors are also at increased risk for WNV infection from mosquito bites.
- Areas of standing water, such as buckets, flower pots, barrels, and children’s pools should be kept empty when not being used to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs. Change the water regularly in pet dishes and bird baths and keep gutters free of standing water.
- Window and door screens should be in good repair to prevent mosquitoes from entering homes and buildings.