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Mosquito capable of carrying Zika virus found in Michigan

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Posted at 4:05 PM, Aug 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-25 16:05:31-04

Asian tiger mosquitoes have been found in Wayne County in the first documentation of this type of mosquito in the state, announced officials from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Wayne County Department of Health, Veterans and Community Wellness.

While the species is capable of spreading the Zika virus, officials emphasized there is no evidence of Zika virus-infected mosquitoes in Michigan or the entire Midwest this year. The mosquitoes were found in an industrial area in Livonia along the I-96 corridor.

“Finding Asian tiger mosquitoes in Michigan is no reason for great concern. Many of our neighboring states have found them previously, and have not seen Zika transmission from this species,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive of MDHHS. “However, it is always a good idea to take precautions against mosquito bites, since other mosquito species can carry diseases like West Nile virus.”

Efforts to further investigate the spread of these mosquitoes are already underway.

Michigan residents can protect themselves from mosquitoes by:

  • Eliminating sources of standing water such as wading pools, old tires, buckets and containers by dumping water to prevent mosquito eggs from hatching or larvae from developing into biting adults.
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors.
  • Applying an EPA-registered insect repellent according to label instructions.
  • Making sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.