Avoid Mosquitoes, West Nile Virus Cases on the Rise

Avoid Mosquitoes, West Nile Virus Cases on the Rise

(press release from Oakland County Health Dept, Aug. 29, 2012)

All residents, especially older adults, are reminded to take precautions against West Nile Virus (WNV). Of the 69 human cases of WNV in Michigan, the median age is 62 years old. According to Michigan Department of Community Health, there are now three deaths due to WNV in the State of Michigan. In Oakland County, the number of human cases of WNV has increased since early August, from one to nine.

Residents, especially older adults, are reminded to take the following steps to avoid WNV and other mosquito borne illnesses:

Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or other EPA approved repellent to exposed skin or clothing, always following the manufacturer’s directions for use (see attachment for information regarding insect repellent)

Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes out of buildings

Empty water from mosquito breeding sites such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs

Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active

Wear light colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors


WNV is a virus that can infect humans, birds, horses and some other mammals. In a small number of people infected by the virus, the disease can be serious, even fatal.

Most people bitten by a WNV infected mosquito show no symptoms of illness. However, some become sick three to 15 days after exposure. About one-in-five infected persons will have mild illness with fever. About one in 150 infected people will become severely ill. Symptoms of encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the spinal cord and brain linings) include stiff neck, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, muscle weakness, convulsions and paralysis.


For more information, visit the Oakland County Health Division website at www.oakgov.com/health or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/publichealthOC.

For a list of other nonchemical mosquito control suggestions visit the State of Michigan Emerging Disease Issues website at: www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases/0,4579,7-186-25805_25824-75796–,00.html

This site gives specific information about mosquito repellants including research on DEET-based repellants.  http://www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases/0,1607,7-186-25805_25820-75626–,00.html

Read our previous mosquito coverage at http://oaklandcounty115.com/2012/04/03/health-alert-mosquito-season-arrives-early-in-michigan/.

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