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First human case of West Nile virus in 2022 reported in Oakland County

OAKLAND COUNTY (CBS DETROIT) - If you're planning any outdoor activities, you may want to break out the bug spray after the first human case of the West Nile virus in 2022 has been reported in metro Detroit.

This comes after a resident of Oakland County tested positive for the virus following a blood donation. To date, the West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitos in Iosco, Arenac, Genesee and Kent counties, as well as birds in Bay and Shiawassee counties. No other human cases have been reported. Mosquito pools from Bay, Midland and Saginaw have tested positive for Jamestown Canyon virus.

"We want to remind residents of Michigan that mosquito season is not over and it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause a severe illness," said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. "Take precautions such as using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeve shirts and long pants when outdoors during times when mosquitoes are active."

The best way to combat the virus is to make sure to reduce the number of mosquitos around your home. Helpful tips include:

  • Using EPA registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol, and 2-undecanone; follow the product label instructions and reapply as directed.
  • Don't 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.
  • 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.

The risk for contracting the West Nile virus increases during the peak season of August and September.

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