LANSING, Mich. — The state’s first cases of West Nile virus this year have been detected in residents in Oakland and Macomb counties, according to a news release Friday.
Michigan health officials reminded residents to prevent mosquito bites to prevent West Nile virus, EEE and other diseases.
Over the past week, mosquitoes collected in Detroit and Bay, Kent, Macomb, Midland, Oakland and Wayne counties have tested positive for West Nile virus and Jamestown Canyon virus.
In addition, the EEE virus was found in an animal in Livingston County.
The risk for mosquito-borne diseases rises throughout the state during mosquito season, peaking in August and September.
“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,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health. “As we head into the holiday weekend and beyond, we urge Michiganders to take precautions such as using insect repellant and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors during those time periods.”
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird.
Most people who contract the disease have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 15 days after getting bit.
Symptoms usually include a high fever, confusion, muscle weakness and a severe headache.
More serious complications include neurological illnesses, such as meningitis and encephalitis.
As of Friday, 22 mosquito samples, eight birds, one squirrel and one horse have tested positive for West Nile virus.
EEE has been found in a horse and a deer from Livingston County and a mosquito sample from Barry County.