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Local News

Summer weather is back and so is West Nile virus

Michigan communities have been affected by West Nile virus every year since 2001. The illness is most commonly caused by mosquito bites. Those who live in an area with mosquitos are at risk of getting the virus and those who work or play outside are at the greatest risk.

 

West Nile virus is not spread from person to person contact such as hugging, kissing, touching, or caring for someone with the virus. Seventy to 80 percent of those who have been exposed to West Nile virus do not get sick. Symptoms occur three to fifteen days after becoming infected from a mosquito bite and include fever, headache, body aches and sometimes skin rash and/or swollen glands.

 

In some cases, the virus can cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, which can be fatal or cause permanent damage. Those who develop any of the symptoms should call their health care provider.

 

 

The risk of contracting West Nile virus can be lowered by these preventative tips:

 

The risk of contracting West Nile virus can be lowered by these preventative tips:

 

*use Environmental Protection Agency registered insect repellents. Visit https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-repellent-right-you to to see what repellents are registered.

 

*wear long-sleeved shirts and pants and dress children in long-sleeved clothing.

 

*use mosquito netting over strollers, cribs, beds and when sleeping outside.

 

*install screens or repair holes in screens around the home to keep mosquitos outside.

 

*once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, tightly cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots or trash containers. Mosquitoes lay eggs in water; be sure to repair cracks or gaps in septic tanks..

 

*indoor and outdoor sprays to kill mosquitoes are available; follow instructions carefully.

 

*dying or dead birds may indicate West Nile virus because they carry the virus. Those who see a dying or dead bird, they should report it to https://secure1.state.mi.us/ORS/Survey/4.

 

For more information on West Nile virus visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/ or the Barry-Eaton District Health Department’s website at https://www.barryeatonhealth.org/bats-ticks-mosquitoes-and-animal-bites.

 

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