First human case of West Nile Virus confirmed in Oakland County

Health Officials Expect Active West Nile Season
Posted at 4:08 PM, Sep 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-25 14:49:47-04

OAKLAND CO., Mich. (WXYZ) — Health officials confirmed Tuesday that a 70-year-old man is the first in Oakland County to be infected with West Nile Virus this year.

Earlier in September, the Oakland County Health Division confirmed that a blood donor had tested positive for the virus.

According to a release, this is the first human case of West Nile in Oakland County in 2019 and the fourth this year in Michigan.

“This is an important reminder that West Nile Virus is present in our community,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County Health Division. “We strongly encourage residents to protect themselves from mosquitoes until the first hard frost of the year.”

The health department has not released any further information on the patient due to privacy laws.

Here are some tips on how to protect yourself:

  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellant. All EPA-registered insect repellants are evaluated for safety and effectiveness, and will contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol as the active ingredient. Repellents containing a higher percentage of the active ingredient typically provide longer-lasting protection. Always follow the product label instructions.

Be careful using repellent on the hands of children as it may irritate the eyes and mouth.

• 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.

• Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.

• Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.

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