LANSING (WWJ) – Multiple cases of the West Nile Virus have been confirmed in Michigan residents.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Friday reported cases were in Macomb, Monroe and Ottawa counties — although they didn’t provide any details about the ill residents.READ MORE: 23rd Annual 'A Home For The Holidays At The Grove' Comes To CBS On Sunday, December 5th
Meantime, the Oakland County Health Division confirmed that a blood donor has tested positive for West Nile in Oakland County.
These are the first human cases in Michigan this year.
“We have clear evidence that West Nile virus is present in the state again this summer,” says Dr. Eden Wells, Chief Medical Executive at the MDHHS. “Even late in the season, remembering to take a few minutes to protect ourselves and our loved ones from mosquito bites when outside can make a big difference.”
Statewide, 57 birds have tested positive for WNV so far this season, and 11 WNV positive mosquito pools have been detected form Bay, Kent, Oakland, Saginaw, and Wayne counties. Infected birds and mosquitoes can provide an early warning of WNV activity in a community, officials said.
Officials say residents can stay healthy by using simple, effective strategies to protect themselves and their families. In particular, citizens are advised to use mosquito repellent products containing EPA-approved active ingredients, such as DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
“It’s important to apply repellents, especially during peak mosquito-biting periods such as dusk and dawn,” the MDHH’s Jennifer Smith told WWJ Newsradio 950.READ MORE: MDHHS Updates COVID-19 Quarantine Guidance For Michigan Schools
Also, wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
Draining standing water and making sure door and window screens are in good repair will also help keep mosquitoes out of the home. Property owners should consider using biological controls for small lakes and ponds you own, such as Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), which is available at many stores.
When applying insect repellents, health officials say it’s important to keep the following guidelines in mind:
• Before applying repellent, read all label directions; not all repellents are intended to be applied to the skin.
• Repellents with low concentrations (10 percent or below) are effective and may be preferred in most situations. Start with a low-concentration product and re-apply if necessary.
• If applying repellents over a long period of time, alternate the repellent with one having another active ingredient.MORE NEWS: More Than 100 Michigan Schools Close Due To Copycat Threats After Oxford High Shooting
For information about West Nile virus activity in Michigan and to report sick or dead birds, visitwww.michigan.gov/westnile.