First West Nile virus cases of year in Michigan found

LANSING, Mich. – The first West Nile virus cases of the year in Michigan have been found in residents in Oakland and Macomb counties, according to the state health department.

Wayne, Macomb, Oakland, Bay, Kent, and Midland counties, along with the city of Detroit had positive results in the past week for mosquitoes tested for West Nile virus and Jameson Canyon virus. A deer in Livingston County tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis.

READ MORE: First West Nile virus cases of 2021 detected in Metro Detroit

Most people who have contracted West Nile have no symptoms. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says 1 in 5 infected individuals infected will have a fever, headache, fatigue and possibly other side effects, but 1 in 150 people will develop a severe illness such as encephalitis or meningitis, which can be fatal.

Similarly, the CDC says many people infected with Jameson Canyon will have no symptoms, but some may experience a fever and other symptoms or more severe illnesses such as encephalitis or meningitis.

About 30% of people who get infected with eastern equine encephalitis die and many survivors face neurologic problems, according to the CDC.

Mosquito season, which peaks in August and September, increases the risk of contracting a mosquito-borne illness. The state health department is advising residents to take preventive measures, such as wearing shoes and socks, using insect repellent and ensuring that doors and windows in homes are repaired and have tight-fitting screens.

Related: Michigan mosquitoes getting worse? Here’s how to find, fight them