Health Officials Confirm Crow Positive for West Nile Virus in Oakland County

Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) today said a crow collected in Oakland County tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services laboratory confirmed the positive test. Mosquito pools in Oakland County have also tested positive for WNV in recent weeks.

“This is an important reminder that West Nile Virus is present in our community,” said Kathy Forzley, OCHD manager / health officer. “Many of us are spending time outdoors, especially with the upcoming holiday, and that increases our risk of exposure. Residents are reminded to follow key steps to protect themselves from illness.”

The best way to prevent infection is to minimize contact with mosquitoes by:

  • Spraying clothing and exposed skin with insect repellent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of insect repellents containing two active ingredients registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: DEET and Picaridin. Always follow manufacturer’s directions carefully, especially when using on children.
  • Wearing protective clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt and pants and limiting outdoor activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Avoiding areas where mosquitoes may be present (i.e. shaded and wooded areas).
  • Maintaining window and door screening to keep mosquitoes out of buildings and homes.

WNV can cause inflammation and swelling of the brain. Mosquitoes are infected by biting a bird that carries the virus. WNV spreads to humans through the bite of the infected mosquito. Most people infected with the virus either have no symptoms or experience a mild illness such as fever, headache, and body aches. In some individuals, particularly the elderly, a much more serious disease affecting the brain tissue can develop.

Visit www.MichiganDNR.com/diseasedwildlifereporting/disease_obsreport.asp to report a single dead bird. To report three (3) or more dead birds call (517) 336-5030.

For up-to-date public health information, visit www.OakGov.com/health or find Public Health Oakland on Facebook and Twitter @publichealthOC.

About Sarah Hovis

Word manipulator, arts appreciator, sports spectator, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at [email protected].

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