The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is urging residents to stay cautious after the first West Nile virus activity was found in Saginaw County.
According to a press release, the virus was confirmed in mosquitos collected in May.
People who work outdoors or like to spend time outside are at an increased risk of contracting the infection through mosquito bites. And adults 60 years and older have the highest risk of severe illness.
In 2017, 40 Michigan residents were diagnosed with West Nile virus. There was one death caused from the virus.
Here are the best ways to prevent West Nile disease:
- Use EPA-registered insect repellents with one of the following ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol and 20undecanone. Follow the label instructions and apply as directed. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
- When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, light colored long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Dress young children in clothing that covers their arms and legs and cover cribs, strollers and baby carriers with mosquito netting.
- Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Use bed nets when sleeping outdoors or in conditions with no window screens.
- Once a week, eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding around your home, including water in bird baths, abandoned swimming pools, wading pools, old tires and any other object holding water.
For more information visit www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases .