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MDHHS confirms 8 cases of West Nile virus by 2018; 1 death



by Brendan Buffa | Newschannel 3

The state of Michigan's first case of West Nile virus discovered in humans was confirmed in Berr County, officials from the Berrien County Health Department said. (19659003) BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. –

UPDATE at 14 o'clock | The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirms that there are eight documented cases of West Nile virus in 2018 and one death.

The cases range from a case in Berrien County, which was confirmed this morning; one in Kent County; one in Oakland County; and five in Wayne County, which includes the only death. All but one person were hospitalized with neurological diseases.

MDHHS reports that in addition to the eight human cases, three Michigan blood donors had detected the virus in their blood.

"As autumn approaches, it's important to remember that the mosquito bite guard should continue until the weather cools significantly," said Eden Wells, senior MDHHS doctor. "It only takes a bite of an infected mosquito to cause a serious illness, so pay particular attention to the measly peak hours that are dusk and dawn for the mosquitoes that transmit the West Nile virus."

The Department reports that the virus was confirmed in 66 tested birds in 21 of the 83 districts of Michigan. In addition, 74 mosquito pools tested positive.

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The state of Michigan's first case of the West Nile virus, which was discovered in humans, became Confirmed in Berrien County, According to Berrien County Health Department Officials

The case was discovered in an adult woman who reportedly got sick in late July and showed symptoms of the virus. Berrien County officials are now forcing residents in southwest Michigan to stay alert and protect themselves from mosquito bites to prevent the virus from contracting. Although this is an urgent matter, it is not uncommon for West Nile virus outbreaks to occur in this condition since 2002.

The virus, which can be transmitted by the bite of a mosquito that has received the virus feeding on dead, infected birds, can be identified by symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Although most people who infect the virus do not show any clinical symptoms, they can still get sick between three and 15 days after the bite.

The Berrien County Health Department says that about one in ten will become seriously ill and experience symptoms such as stiff neck, drowsiness, disorientation, coma, tremors, muscle weakness, cramps and even paralysis. These symptoms are typical for people over the age of 60 and older.

The most effective way to avoid the risk of infection with West Nile virus is to eliminate the possibilities of hatching mosquitoes, including removing stagnant water from your entire property; Use of insect repellents containing the active substance DEET and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants; and keep mosquitoes out by repairing any occasions in your home that may allow the insects indoors.

For more information on West Nile virus, visit the Berrien County Health Department or visit the Michigan website for information and weekly reports on the spread of the virus.

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