PONTIAC (WWJ) – Oakland County officials are warning the public to take precautions after mosquitoes in a trap tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

According to the Oakland County Health Division, the first mosquito pool testing positive for WNV has been found in a trap set in Oakland County — and, compared to last year, this is earlier in the summer season for such a discovery.

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“Although no human cases of the virus have been confirmed in Oakland County this year, residents are urged to be cautious when spending time outdoors,” said Kathy Forzley, Oakland County Health Division manager/health officer, in a media release. “The most effective way to protect yourself and your family against West Nile Virus is to take precautions against mosquito bites.”

Forzley did not say exactly where in the county the pool was located.

In 2015, multiple human cases of WNV were confirmed in Michigan during what experts said was one of the worst summers for mosquitoes in the state in years. An 81-year-old Oakland County woman died of what was one of three confirmed cases last year in that county.

Health officials say WNV can cause inflammation and swelling of the brain, and those over age 50 who are at greater risk for severe illness.

The OCHD recommends 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.

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• 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.

Mosquitoes are infected by biting a bird that carries the virus which spreads to humans through the bite of the infected mosquito, but most people infected with the virus either have no symptoms or experience a mild illness such as fever, headache, and body aches. In some individuals, particularly the elderly, a much more serious disease affecting the brain tissue can develop.

For up-to-date public health information, visit http://www.oakgov.com/health or find Public Health Oakland on Facebook and Twitter @publichealthOC. To report a single dead bird, visit this link. To report three or more dead birds call 517-336-5030.

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For information about West Nile virus activity statewide and for more about how to report sick or dead birds, visit www.michigan.gov/westnile.