Two Confirmed Cases of West Nile Virus in Oakland County

Recently, the Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) received laboratory confirmation from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services of two human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Oakland County. So far this year, two mosquito pools, a crow and a blood donor have also tested positive for WNV.

“All residents are strongly urged to follow prevention tips to protect themselves from WNV, especially those who are 50 and older who are more susceptible to severe symptoms,” said Kathy Forzley, OCHD manager/health officer. “Most people infected with WNV do not have any symptoms, but for those who do become sick, the disease can be serious, even fatal.”

Follow these tips to prevent WNV:

  • Use insect repellent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of insect repellents containing active ingredients registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Always follow manufacturer’s directions carefully.
  • Be careful using repellant on the hands of children because repellents may irritate their eyes and mouths.
  • Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Limit outdoor activity from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Avoid areas where mosquitoes may be present such as shaded and wooded areas.
  • Maintain window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of buildings.
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water that collects in birdbaths, boats, buckets, tires, unused pools, roof gutters and other containers.

West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne virus spread to humans through the bite of the infected mosquito. Most people who are infected with the virus have no symptoms or experience a mild illness such as fever, headache and body aches. However, in some individuals, particularly the elderly, a much more serious disease affecting the brain tissue can develop. Physicians are urged to test patients for WNV if they present with fever, signs of meningitis or encephalitis, or sudden painless paralysis.

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

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