WARREN (WWJ) - West Nile is dangerous but one local mayor says Yellow Fever is worse, and he's getting ready for a possible outbreak.
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts isn't taking any chances. He's cautioning residents to look out for mosquitoes like their lives depend on it.
"I'm worried about Zika, I'm worried about West Nile, I'm worried about Chikungunya and I think we have to begin to look at the potential for Yellow Fever sweeping the United States within the next year or two," Fouts told WWJ's Charlie Langton. "Yellow Fever is even more serious -- 20 to 50 percent of the people who contract Yellow Fever die."
Fouts was quick to point out that nobody in Warren currently has Yellow Fever, but he wants to be ready if an outbreak does happen
"Many years ago when I was on the city council, we didn't have West Nile and then we got it," he said. "And if you remember, Warren was one of the top cities in Michigan to have several fatalities from West Nile."
So, the city is taking a proactive approach, Fouts said, issuing tickets to those who could be harboring the disease-spreading mosquitoes on their properties.
"We have zero tolerance for anyone with a swimming pool or large water area with standing water. We are going to issue major ticket violations," he said. "We are going to treat this as a potential epidemic."
According to the Michigan Department of Health, Yellow Fever is a serious mosquito-borne disease that causes fever and flu-like symptoms, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), bleeding from multiple body sites, and liver, kidney, respiratory and other organ failure. In severe cases, it can lead to death. There is no specific treatment for Yellow Fever, and care is based on symptoms. Steps to prevent Yellow Fever infection include using insect repellent, wearing protective clothing, and getting vaccinated.
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