State confirms one death attributed to West Nile Virus in Wayne County

Posted at 2:11 PM, Aug 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-23 20:44:18-04

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed one death attributed to West Nile Virus in Michigan for 2018.

In all, the state says there are now eight human cases of the virus confirmed in Michigan. Of those cases, one is in Berrien County, one in Kent County, one in Oakland County and five in Wayne County. The one death was a case in Wayne County.

On top of that, the state says there have been three Michigan blood donors with West Nile Virus detected in their blood. 

“As the 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."

The peak mosquito-biting hours are from dusk to dawn, according to the state.

According to the state, 66 birds have tested positive for the virus in 21 counties, and 74 West Nile Virus-positive mosquitoes have been detected in eight Michigan counties.

The state recommends these steps be taken to avoid West Nile Virus.

  • 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 repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other EPA approved product to exposed skin or clothing, and always following the 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.