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West Nile Virus Confirmed In Saginaw County

June 08, 2018 - 7:00 pm
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SAGINAW COUNTY, Mich. (WWJ) -- Tests from late May confirm there is evidence of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes in mid-Michigan.

The Saginaw County Mosquito Abatement Commission says West Nile Virus, which is a bird disease, is transmitted through a mosquito bite, and can cause people to become ill, three to 15 days afterward.

Commission director Bill Stanuszek reports the first evidence of the virus was found in late May.

“That would be considered early,” Stanuszek said. “We normally think of West Nile Virus or see mosquito collections more in July and August, or even into September when it’s being transmitted more in birds and mosquitoes. Think of it as West Nile Virus trying to get a foothold here in Michigan.”

Stanuszek says about two in every 10 people who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience illness.

Stanuszek said there are a few ways to protect against mosquitoes. He said it is important to make sure there are screens on windows and doors and that they are completely sealed off.

“Wear repellent, throw the fan out on the deck if you want to keep the mosquitos off you, if you can do that," Stanuszek said. "Keep long sleeves on your kids on those cool nights. And check for that standing water in your bird baths and buckets. If you’re not using it to water your plants, please dump it out every seven to 10 days. Mosquitoes love that.”

Illness from West Nile is usually mild, including fever, headache and body aches. About one in 150 people suffer serious illness, such as Encephalitis or meningitis, which may result in death.