REDFORD TWP. (WWJ) – Beware of infected mosquitoes.

Wayne County health officials have issued an alert after a mosquito batch sample from Redford Township tested positive for West Nile Virus.

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County Health Officer, Dr. Mouhanad Hammami, said no human cases of the West Nile Virus have been confirmed this year, and he’d like to keep it that way.

“We want people to enjoy the last weeks of summer but we also want our residents to take the necessary steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” Hammami said in a statement.

Mosquitoes can be infected with the West Nile Virus by biting a bird that carries the virus, health officials say. The virus can then spread to humans through the bite of the infected mosquito. Most people infected with the virus have either no symptoms or experience a mild illness such as fever, headache, and body aches. In some individuals, however — mostly the elderly — a more serious disease affecting the brain tissue may develop.

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Residents can take preventative action such as applying repellents during peak mosquito biting periods — dusk and dawn — and draining standing water around their homes to remove mosquito breeding sites.

In 2014, nationally 2,205 human cases of the virus and 97 deaths were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health officials recommend these tips to prevent a mosquito bite:

  • Spray clothing and exposed skin with insect repellent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends use of insect repellents containing active ingredients registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Two products registered with the EPA that have shown a high degree of effectiveness are DEET and Picaridin. Always follow manufacturer’s directions carefully, especially when using on children.
  • Minimize activities where mosquitoes are present, such as shaded areas.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants outdoors.
  • Maintain window and door screening to keep mosquitoes out of buildings.
  • Eliminate standing water in your yard. Empty water from mosquito breeding sites, such as flower pots, pet bowls, clogged rain gutters, swimming pool covers, discarded tires, buckets, barrels, cans, and similar items in which mosquitoes can lay eggs.
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For information about West Nile virus activity in Michigan and to report sick or dead birds, visit www.michigan.gov/westnile.