PONTIAC (WWJ) – A blood donor in Oakland County has tested positive for West Nile virus.
It was detected during routine blood screening by the American Red Cross, according to officials Oakland County Health Division, who didn’t offer any further details about the infected person.READ MORE: Son Fatally Shoots Mother While Driving On Woodward Near Royal Oak
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, this is the first blood donation in 2016 that has tested positive for West Nile Virus in Michigan.
West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito and can cause inflammation and swelling of the brain.
While many people will not be affected, Health Division health officer Kathy Forzley said some people are more at risk.
“It can cause very severe illness — mostly for those that are over 50 or those that might be immune compromised,” she told WWJ Health Reporter Dr. Deanna Lites. “They might have very severe illness that requires hospitalization, and in some cases it has caused death.”
This latest comes after last month Oakland County officials warned the public to take precautions after mosquitoes in a trap tested positive for the West Nile.
The OCHD recommends these tips to prevent a mosquito bite:READ MORE: Wixom Man Charged In Shooting Death Of Father's Ex-Girlfriend
• 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.
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 this link 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.MORE NEWS: Michigan Community Choosing To Help Each Other In Time Of Need After Flint Home Explosion
For information about West Nile virus activity statewide and for more about how to report sick or dead birds, visit www.michigan.gov/westnile.