(WXYZ) - The state's first death of 2012 from West Nile Virus has been reported.
Michigan health officials say a woman from Washtenaw County, who was previously healthy, has passed away.
The woman was between the ages of 75 and 85 and was hospitalized earlier this month after showing symptoms of the virus.
West Nile Virus is on the rise in Michigan and across the country.
“With the virus appearing earlier this year than it has in recent years, we want to remind residents to take the appropriate precautions to avoid getting bitten,” said Dr. Corinne Miller, State Epidemiologist with the Michigan Department of Community Health.
“The unusually hot and dry summer has favored the mosquitoes that transmit WNV. These same conditions have led to a reduction in the number of “nuisance” mosquitoes which are more abundant during wet summers, giving citizens a false sense of security,” said Dr. Miller.
The Michigan Department of Community Health is urging residents to take the following precautions:
• Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes out of buildings.
• Empty water from mosquito breeding sites such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs.
• Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other EPA approved repellent to exposed skin or clothing, especially during peak mosquito activity periods such as dusk and dawn.
• Wear light colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
For more information and surveillance activity updates about WNV, visit the state's Emerging Diseases website at www.michigan.gov/westnilevirus or the CDC’s WNV website at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm .
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