The first human case of West Nile virus in Michigan this year has been confirmed in Sanilac County, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said.
The case came after a blood donor tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus. Currently, the donor is not reporting any illness, and most people who become infected will not develop any symptoms.
However, the MDHHS said some many become sick 3-15 days after exposure, and about one in 5 will have a mild illness which could include fever, headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea or a rash.
“This is an important reminder to stay vigilant and protect against mosquito bites throughout the summer and into the fall,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Residents should use insect repellent, drain standing water around the home and take extra care during peak mosquito-biting hours between dusk and dawn.”
Blood donations are all screened for West Nile prior to distribution, and those that test positive are discarded.
Residents can stay healthy and follow these steps to avoid West Nile.
- Apply insect repellents that contact the active ingredient, DEET, or other EPA-approved products to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer's directions for use
- Wear light-colored, long-sleeve shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to prevent bites
- Maintain window and door screening to keep mosquitoes outside
- Empyy water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs
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