By Sara Powers

(CBS DETROIT) – Michigan’s first mosquito-borne virus of 2022 was recently detected in Bay County, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The mosquitoes collected in Bay County tested positive for Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV).

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In 2021, JCV sickened six Michigan residents. In addition to this, there were 46 cases of WNV and one case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and seven of those West Nile virus (WNV) cases resulted in death.

Officials say that the illness can develop after a few days and up to two weeks after getting a mosquito bite.

According to MDHHS, most people do not become ill, but initial symptoms include fever, headache, and fatigue. Rare cases can cause severe diseases to the brain and spinal cord, including encephalitis and meningitis.

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“It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause a severe illness,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “We urge Michiganders to take precautions such as using an EPA-registered insect repellent when outdoors, avoiding areas where mosquitoes are present if possible, and wearing clothing to cover arms and legs to prevent bites.”

Health officials are reminding residents that the best way to protect themselves from JCV, as well as Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus (WNV), is to prevent mosquito bites.

Here are the MDHHS recommended ways to avoid 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.
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