West Nile Virus found in blood donated in Oakland County, health officials say

Posted: 12:15 PM, Aug 22, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-22 18:23:54-04

The Oakland County Health Division says a sample of blood donated in the county has tested positive for West Nile Virus.

This is the first blood donation in Michigan to test positive for the virus this year.

County health officials say, "The American Red Cross consistently tests blood donations for a wide variety of infectious diseases, including West Nile Virus."

The infected blood was identified, they say, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services informed Oakland County of the virus.

Health officials remind residents that preventing mosquito bites is the best way to avoid West Nile Virus. The virus is transmitted through the bites of infected mosquitoes.

"The risk of serious illness for most people is low," the Health Division says. "Some individuals, however, can develop a serious illness such as encephalitis or meningitis. Those who are 50 years old or older have a greater chance of getting sick and developing complications."