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Michigan’s first human case of West Nile Virus confirmed in Detroit area

West Nile Virus Deep Look / CC BY-SA 4.0
West Nile Virus Deep Look / CC BY-SA 4.0(MGN Deep Look / CC BY-SA 4.0)
Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 5:30 PM EDT
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WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - State officials have reported the first human case of West Nile virus in Michigan this year.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported Thursday that a person in Wayne County tested positive for the virus, which is spread by mosquitoes.

Last year, the stare reported that West Nile virus sickened 12 Michiganders, along with 20 animals and birds. Health officials are urging residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites through the fall.

“It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause a severe illness, so take extra care during peak mosquito-biting hours, which are dusk and dawn for the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus and Eastern Equine encephalitis virus,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health.

Thirteen horses in Barry, Clare, Kent, Montcalm, Newaygo and Oakland counties have tested positive for Eastern Equine encephalitis so far this year, but no EEE cases have been confirmed in humans. Last year there were 50 cases of EEE in animals and 10 in people, which resulted in six deaths.

State health officials are also reminding people that the best way to protect themselves against West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses, including Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), is to prevent mosquito bites.

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