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Michigan reports first human infected with mosquito-borne Jamestown Canyon virus

The first case of 2020
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Posted at 5:26 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 17:32:27-04

OTTAWA COUNTY (WXYZ) — An Ottawa County resident is the first in the state of Michigan to be infected with the mosquito-borne Jamestown Canyon virus this year, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The first two cases of the virus were reported in 2018 in patients from Oakland and Menominee counties. And in 2019, one case was found in a Cass County resident.

“During the warm weather months in Michigan, there is always a risk of viruses spread by mosquitoes, including but not limited to West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health. “This is an important reminder to stay vigilant and protect against mosquito bites throughout the summer and into the fall.”

Here's what you should know about Jamestown Canyon virus:
- It is spread to people through bites from infected mosquitoes
- Most cases happen from late spring through mid-fall
- Signs of infection can show within a few days to two weeks after being exposed
- Initial symptoms include fever, headache and fatigue. And in rare cases, it can cause severe disease, including infection of the brain encephalitis – or the lining around the brain and spinal cord – meningitis.

The following steps are recommended to avoid Jamestown Canyon virus and other mosquito-borne diseases:

  • Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other EPA-approved products to exposed skin or clothing. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
  • Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
  • Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs.