Human cases of West Nile discovered in 3 MI counties

Human cases of West Nile discovered in 3 MI counties

Human cases of West Nile discovered in 3 MI counties

The virus has been present in Louisiana since 2001 and in Texas since 2002, and together, the two states have reported more than 6,500 human cases of West Nile.

With ongoing weather favorable to mosquitoes, the health department is urging IN residents to take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Adults over 50 are most at risk of serious health effects.

The first local cases of West Nile virus this year have been reported. Boudreaux said positive test for West Nile have been found in St. Mary, Iberia, St. Martin and Lafayette parishes.

While most people sickened by West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms, health officials say about 20 percent suffer mild illness with fever and about 1 in 150 people become severely ill.

"When the West Nile Virus hits, we spray in areas we don't usually, and residents may see us in adulticiding, fogging...if residents see us, don't be alarmed", Hougaard said.

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Approximately 70 to 80 percent of people infected with West Nile virus do not experience symptoms. Hougaard said getting rid of these types of objects that can catch rain or sprinkler water around your yard is one of the best ways to help abatement groups control the mosquito population. "All residents should take steps to prevent bites, such as use repellent and take extra care during peak mosquito-biting hours between dusk and dawn". Use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and trousers when outdoors, and prevent standing water as mosquito breeding grounds on your property.

When people do show symptoms, they can mimic those of flu or what people call "stomach flu", Dr. Soule noted.

Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.

Discard old tires, bottles, pots, broken appliances and other items not being used. If you have standing water, get rid of it.

Wear light colored, long-sleeved shirts and long trousers when outdoors. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.

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