Bird tests positive for West Nile virus in Jackson County
JACKSON COUNTY, MI – A bird has tested positive for West Nile virus in Jackson County, prompting health officials to publish precautionary advice.
No cases of West Nile have been reported in humans in Jackson County at this time, according to a press release issued Tuesday, September 28 by the Jackson County Department of Health. There have been 28 positive cases in Michigan, health officials said.
The positive test in the bird marks the first appearance of the virus this year in the county, officials said.
“This recent laboratory confirmation of West Nile virus serves as an indicator that the virus is active in birds and mosquitoes in Jackson County,” said Don Hayduk, director of the environmental health division of the health department. County. “As we have not yet had a hard frost and the temperatures are still warm, mosquito activity continues and the risk of contracting West Nile virus still exists.”
To reduce the risk of exposure to the virus, as well as other viruses spread by mosquitoes, the health service recommends:
- Apply insect repellant to skin exposed to outdoors, especially products containing DEET.
- Spray clothing with DEET repellent, as some mosquitoes bite through clothing.
- Use caution when applying repellant to children 12 years of age or younger. Follow the directions on the repellent label.
- Avoid outdoor activities in areas with high mosquito populations and consider staying indoors between dusk and dawn.
- Ensure that screens on windows and doors are installed to prevent mosquitoes from entering buildings. Fix broken screens.
- Remove or drain standing water in yards. Empty water containers, such as flower pots, pet bowls, pool covers, buckets, barrels and more. These containers are common breeding sites for mosquitoes and popular for them to lay eggs.
More information on West Nile virus can be found on the Jackson County Department of Health website here. More information on activity across Michigan can be found with the state health department here.
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