Health Care

First cases of West Nile Virus for 2017 found in MI

First cases of West Nile Virus for 2017 found in MI

Certain mosquito species carry West Nile virus, which can cause humans to contract West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain.

Those pesky mosquitoes that torment your summer mornings and evenings may be more of a concern than an itchy bite. Adults over 50 are most at risk of serious health effects.

Fitchburg Board of Health Director Stephen Curry said it's rare for a person bitten by a mosquito infected by West Nile to become sick.

The Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center said two confirmed cases of mosquito-borne illness have been reported: A woman in her 70s from Grayslake who was hospitalized after becoming ill in mid-August; and a woman in her 40s from Mundelein who was also hospitalized in late August. Boudreaux said positive test for West Nile have been found in St. Mary, Iberia, St. Martin and Lafayette parishes. Those samples are sent to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to be tested for West Nile virus. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. No symptoms in most people. Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, at dusk and dawn.

The higher risk group includes people over age 60, and people with chronic diseases such as cancer or heart disease, and symptoms can include fever, headache, body aches and rash.

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Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 according to label instructions to keep mosquitoes from biting you.

Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.

Wear light colored, long-sleeved shirts and long trousers when outdoors.

Dispose of water-holding containers, such as ceramic pots, used tires, and tire swings.

Although the chances of developing serious symptoms from the West Nile Virus are slim, it's still important to protect yourself, Hougaard said. However, mosquitoes can reproduce anywhere there's standing water.