80-year-old man dies from West Nile virus in Oakland County

Posted at 3:32 PM, Sep 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-25 16:12:39-04

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have confirmed the first death related to West Nile virus this year. 

The Oakland County health division reported Tuesday an 80-year-old man died due to complications from West Nile. 

“This is a tragic reminder of how severe West Nile Virus can be, especially for adults over 50 who are at greater risk for severe illness," said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County Health Division. “We strongly encourage residents to protect themselves from mosquitoes, even as we enter the fall season.”

It is the first human WNV-related death in Oakland County since 2015 and the second in Michigan this year. 

Residents are encouraged to protect themselves using these tips: 

  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellant. 
  • Wear protective clothing such as long sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Limit outdoor activity from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Maintain window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of buildings. Do not prop open doors.

According to the Oakland County Health Division:

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne virus. Mosquitoes are infected with the virus by biting an infected bird. The virus is then spread to humans through the bite of the infected mosquito. Most people who are infected with the virus have either no symptoms or experience a mild illness such as fever, headache, and body aches.