Health Department cites cases of West Nile Virus in Marquette County
MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - The Marquette County Health Department (MCHD) was notified Monday morning that two hawks tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).
According to MCHD, the presence of WNV in wild bird populations is a strong indication that the virus is carried by local mosquitos in Marquette County and throughout the U.P.
Marquette County and U.P. residents are urged to take precautions and protect themselves from mosquito bites to avoid contracting WNV.
Symptoms of WNV occur three to 15 days after becoming infected from a mosquito bite and include fever, headache, body aches and sometimes skin rash and/or swollen glands. In some cases, the virus can cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, which can be fatal or cause permanent damage.
MCHD encourages anyone with any symptoms to contact their health care provider.
Residents can stay healthy by following steps to avoid mosquito bites:
• Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved product, to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
• Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
• Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs,
• Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.
Mosquito-borne illness will continue to be a risk in Michigan until late fall when nighttime temperatures consistently fall below freezing.
For more information about mosquito-borne diseases, you can visit Michigan.gov/emergingdiseases
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