(Adrian, MI) On September 19, 2018, the Lenawee County Health Department received notification that a bird from Cambridge Township, Section 12, tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).
“As fall approaches, it’s vital to remember that mosquito bite protection should continue until the weather significantly cools,” said Dr. Eden Wells, Chief Medical Executive at the MDHHS. “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 for the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile Virus.”
Most people who become infected with WNV will not develop any symptoms of illness. However, some become sick 3 to 15 days after exposure. About one-in-five infected persons will have mild illness with fever, and about one in 150 infected people will become severely ill.
Mild illness may include headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Severe symptoms of WNV are associated with meningitis or encephalitis, and may include: stiff neck, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, muscle weakness, convulsions, and paralysis. People 60 and older are more susceptible to these severe symptoms.
As in previous years, the Lenawee County Health Department encourages residents that the best way to protect against WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses is to prevent mosquito bites.
Residents can stay healthy by using simple, effective strategies to protect themselves and their families. The following steps are recommended to avoid WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases:
Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside
Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs.
Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.
Apply insect repellent that contains the active ingredient DEET, or other EPA approved product to exposed skin or clothing, and always following manufacturer’s directions for use.
Wear light colored, long sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
For information and surveillance activity about West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne viruses, visit www.michigan.gov/westnile.