Nearly a month after it was first detected in West Michigan, a second round of testing has confirmed mosquitoes in Michigan are carrying West Nile Virus.

The Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services (KCHCS) Department’s Environmental Health Division has shared their recent findings. Here's what we know so far:

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Between all the food recalls and recent news about mosquito-borne illnesses in Michigan, it's hard to keep track of it all! Just months after Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), another rare mosquito-borne virus, was detected in Michigan officials are warning of West Nile Virus-- and this one hits a little closer to home!

In a press release KCHCS shared,

Through its seasonal mosquito surveillance efforts, the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department's Environmental Health Division reports the second positive detection of West Nile Virus in a Kalamazoo County mosquito pool...Of the more than 3,500 mosquito pools tested across Michigan this year, 43 have resulted in positive West Nile Virus detections

Over the years it seems like there's been so much hype about West Nile Virus but with the global Covid-19 pandemic, West Nile Virus has become less top-of-mind. But the threat is still very real. According to the Centers for Disease Control West Nile Virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the United States.

Know the Symptoms:

While most people infected with West Nile Virus may not show signs of infection, 20% may develop mild flu-like symptoms including: fever, headache, body aches, and fatigue.

Those who are immuno-compromised or are older may develop more severe complications-- which is why it's important to avoid getting bit in the first place!

While the KCHCS says they will continue to monitor mosquito pools through September in Southwest Michigan, it's important that you do your part to stay healthy. Experts recommend the following:

  • Use any EPA-registered insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, or IR3535.
  • Wear protective clothing when outside during active mosquito hours such as long-sleeve shirts and long pants. Pre-treating them with .5% permethrin is advised.
  • Eliminate standing water to minimize breeding opportunities
  • Ensure windows and doors are well screened and secure
  • Avoid peak mosquito hours. Generally they're most active around sunrise and sunset.

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