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First 2022 detections of West Nile Virus in Wayne County residents

Wayne County residents urged to take proper precautions to prevent mosquito bites

September 2, 2022. West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in three (3) Wayne County residents. Wayne County residents are reminded that the best way to protect against WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE) is to prevent mosquito bites.

To date, WNV has been found in mosquitos collected in Arenac, Genesee, Gladwin, Huron, Iosco, and Kent counties, as well as birds collected in Wayne, Bay, Saginaw, and Shiawassee and counties. The risk for mosquito-borne illness rises throughout the state over the course of the mosquito season - peaking in August and September.

WNV is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most people who contract the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms of arbovirus infection, like WNV, typically include a high fever, confusion, muscle weakness and a severe headache. More serious complications include neurological illnesses, such as meningitis and encephalitis.

The best way to prevent WNV or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Precautions include:

· Using EPA registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthanediol, and 2-undecanone; follow the product label instructions and reapply as directed. Find the insect repellant that's right for you by using EPA's search tool.

o Always follow instructions when applying insect repellent to children. Do not use repellent on children under 2 months old. Instead, dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs and cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.

o Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthanediol (PMD) on children under 3 years old.

· Wearing shoes and socks, light-colored long pants, and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors.

· Making sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings.

· Using bed nets when sleeping outdoors or in conditions with no window screens.

· Eliminating all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding around your home, including water in bird baths, abandoned swimming pools, wading pools, old tires and any other object holding water once a week.

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