First Human Case of West Nile Virus for 2020 in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) reported the first human case of West Nile Virus for 2020 in a Wayne County resident last week. The mosquito-borne disease becomes a risk for humans when infected birds, animals, and mosquito pools are detected in an area.

So far this year, two birds have tested positive for WNV from Oakland and Lapeer counties. Five counties in Michigan have WNV positive mosquito pools: Arenac, Kent, Lapeer, Oakland and Saginaw.

Most people who become infected with West Nile Virus will not develop any symptoms of illness, but about one in 150 people will become severely ill.

The best protection from West Nile Virus is to avoid contact with infected mosquitoes. When spending time outdoors, wear light-colored clothing with long sleeves and long pants, and apply insect repellent to clothing and exposed skin.  Eliminate standing water that could become breeding sites for mosquitoes, and maintain window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.

Reporting for WGRT – Jessie Wiegand