Oakland County blood donor tests positive for West Nile

Posted at 3:52 PM, Sep 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-05 15:56:11-04

PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) — A blood donor in Oakland County has tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to the Oakland County Health Division.

The American Red Cross tests blood donations for a variety of infectious diseases, including mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile Virus.

According to a release, this is the first blood donation in 2019 that tested positive for the virus in Oakland County.

“Mosquitos are present until temperatures are consistently below 50 degrees,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County. “Continue to use insect repellent and take preventive
measures to prevent disease and avoid mosquito bites.”

The health department says that people over 50 are more likely to develop serious and potentially life-threatening symptoms if they become sick.

Here are some tips on how to prevent contracting the virus, according to the health department:

• Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent. All EPA-registered insect repellents 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.

• Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by removing standing water around your home:
> Turn over any type of container that can collect water. Once a week, empty out items that hold water such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, pet bowls, flowerpots, and trash containers.
> Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains.
> Treat standing water that cannot be eliminated, such as retention ponds or drainage ditches, with a mosquito larvicide. Mosquito larvicide is easy to use and can be purchased at most home improvement stores.

• 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.

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