(CBS DETROIT) – Michigan confirmed on Friday mosquitoes in the state have tested positive for the Jamestown Canyon virus.

The department says the mosquitoes were collected in Bay, Oakland and Saginaw counties adding that these are the first infected mosquito pools detected for 2021.

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Every summer in Michigan, bites from mosquitoes carry the risk of spreading diseases to people and animals. JCV sickened three Michiganders in 2020. Also reported were 32 cases of WNV and four cases of EEE, resulting in two deaths.

Residents are reminded that the best way to protect themselves against JCV and other mosquito-borne illnesses, including Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus (WNV), is to prevent mosquito bites.

The JCV virus is spread to people through bites from infected mosquitoes. Most cases occur from late spring through mid-fall. Illness can develop within a few days to two weeks following a bite from an infected mosquito. While most people do not become ill, initial symptoms can include fever, headache and fatigue. In rare cases, it can cause severe disease in the brain and/or spinal cord including encephalitis and meningitis.

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JCV can be spread by mosquitoes that become infected when they feed on deer or other animals that have the virus in their blood. Infected mosquitoes spread the virus to other animals or people through bites. Arboviruses including WNV and EEE virus spread when mosquitoes contract the virus from biting infected birds then biting a human.

Residents can stay healthy by using simple, effective strategies to protect themselves and their families. The following steps are recommended to avoid JCV and other mosquito-borne diseases:

  • Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other EPA-approved products to exposed skin or clothing. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
  • Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
  • Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs.

For more information, visit Michigan.gov/EmergingDiseases.

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