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Blood Donor Tests Positive for West Nile Virus in Oakland County

Blood Donor Tests Positive for West Nile Virus in Oakland County

Pontiac, MI- Oakland County Health Division was notified by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services of an Oakland County blood donor testing positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). The American Red Cross consistently tests blood donations for a wide variety of infectious diseases, including mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus. This is the first blood donation in 2019 that has tested positive for West Nile Virus in Oakland County.

“Mosquitos are present until temperatures are consistently below 50 degrees,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County. “Continue to use insect repellent and take preventive measures to prevent disease and avoid mosquito bites.”

Follow these prevention tips:

Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent. All EPA-registered insect repellents are evaluated for safety and effectiveness, and will contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol as the active ingredient. Repellents containing a higher percentage of the active ingredient typically provide longer-lasting protection. Always follow the product label instructions.

Be careful using repellent on the hands of children as it may irritate the eyes and mouth.

Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by removing standing water around your home:

Turn over any type of container that can collect water. Once a week, empty out items that hold water such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, pet bowls, flowerpots, and trash containers.

Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains.

Treat standing water that cannot be eliminated, such as retention ponds or drainage ditches, with a mosquito larvicide. Mosquito larvicide is easy to use and can be purchased at most home improvement stores.

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 screens to keep mosquitoes out of buildings. Do not prop open doors.

West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne virus. Mosquitoes are infected with the virus by biting an infected bird. The virus is then spread to humans through the bite of the infected mosquito. Most people who are infected with the virus have either no symptoms or experience a mild illness such as fever, headache, and body aches. However, in some individuals, a more serious disease-causing inflammation and swelling of the brain can develop. People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop serious and potentially life-threatening symptoms of West Nile Virus if they do get sick.

For more information about West Nile Virus, visit or call Nurse on Call at 800-848- 5533, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. For up-to-date public health information, follow @publichealthOC on Facebook and Twitter.

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