A case of probable non-neuroinvasive West Nile virus (WNV) has been identified in an Allegan County resident.
The Allegan County Health Department is reminding residents to protect against mosquito bites; the best way to protect against West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses is to prevent mosquito bites.
Michigan has a total of 10 confirmed and six probable reported cases of WNV as of Aug. 28. Four of the 16 cases have been non-neuroinvasive or WNV fever cases. West Nile virus is an arbovirus transmitted by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus by feeding on infected birds and can transmit the virus to other animals, birds, and humans.
Most birds show no symptoms of infection, but certain bird species, such as crows, blue jays and ravens, are more sensitive to the virus. Consequently, these types of birds are more likely to become sick and die when they become infected with the virus.
The peak risk period is late summer and early fall.
Most people who become infected with WNV will not develop any symptoms of illness. However, some become sick three to 15 days after exposure. About one in five infected persons will have a mild illness with fever, and about one in 150 infected people will become severely ill.
Mild illness may include headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.
Severe symptoms of neuroinvasive WNV are associated with encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) acute flaccid paralysis, or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord).
"Simple, effective strategies can protect residents:
* eliminate water collecting outside your home in containers and tires that hold stagnant water.
* apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other EPA approved product, following the manufacturer’s directions.
* wear long sleeves and pants outdoors when mosquitoes are most active – from dusk until dawn,” said Allegan County Public Health Officer, Angelique Joynes, MPH, RN.
For more information about West Nile virus activity in Michigan, and how to report a dead or sick-acting bird in your area, visit www.michigan.gov/westnile. Additional information on the West Nile virus can be found at www.cdc.gov/westnile.