JACKSON, Mich. — The Jackson County Health Department is reminding the residents to take precautions when outside to stem the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses.
“With the recent hot weather and heavy rainfall, it is no secret that mosquito season is now in full swing just in time for family vacations,” Environmental Health Director Don Hayduk said.
There have been mosquito-borne virus outbreaks in Jackson County previously. According to the Jackson County Health Department they have included Eastern equine encephalitis, West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis.
The health department warns heartworm is becoming more common in Michigan. Heartworm is caused by a mosquito-spread parasite.
Michigan experienced the worst outbreak of Eastern equine encephalitis since the early 1980s back in 2019. This resulted in spraying natural insecticide across Jackson County. There was more aerial spraying in 2020.
The county health department is conducting mosquito surveillance to find two species of mosquito that transmit Zika virus. Officials say at this point the two mosquitoes found to transmit Zika virus has not been found in Michigan.
“It is very important to seek medical evaluation and treatment if you suspect you are experiencing symptoms of any mosquito-borne virus disease and have been exposed to mosquito bites,” Hayduk said.
Officials from the environmental health division say to reduce the risk of these disease you can wear long sleeve shirts and long pants when you’re in the woods or in shrubbery.
Take a look at your window screens and repair them if necessary. Use insect repellents containing DEET or Picardian that have been registered by the Environmental Protection Agency.
To protect your babies or children officials recommend to use clothing that covers their arms and legs completely and to use mosquito netting that can cover strollers and baby carriers. They also say it’s important to empty out anything holding standing water.
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