Residents Urged to Protect themselves from West Nile Virus

County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and the Oakland County Health Division are urging residents to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites and West Nile Virus (WNV) during upcoming summer events, such as Arts, Beats & Eats, and other outdoor activities. WNV continues to be detected in Oakland County and residents should take necessary precautions to reduce their risk.

“This is an important reminder that West Nile Virus is present in our community,” said Kathy Forzley, Oakland County’s health officer and manager of the Health Division. “Residents are encouraged to enjoy time outdoors and follow key steps to protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases.”

Follow these tips to prevent mosquito bites:

  • Spray clothing and exposed skin with insect repellent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends use of insect repellents containing DEET and Picaridin. Always follow manufacturer’s directions carefully, especially when using on children.
  • Minimize activities where mosquitoes are present, such as shaded and wooded areas.
  • Wear protective clothing such as long sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Limit outdoor activity from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Maintain window and door screening to keep mosquitoes out of buildings.
  • Eliminate standing water in your yard. Empty water from mosquito breeding sites, such as flower pots, pet bowls, clogged rain gutters, swimming pool covers, discarded tires, buckets, barrels, cans, and similar items in which mosquitoes can lay eggs.

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

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


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