Escambia Mosquito Borne Illness Alert Issued After West Nile Case Confirmed

Phillip Cunningham
September 1, 2017

Health officials say West Nile virus activity this year appears to be widespread across MI.

Half of the deaths were registered in Bucharest, with the other three being reported in Buzau, Braila, and Olt. In humans, West Nile can cause flu-like symptoms.

Now is the time to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites as this is the most critical time of the year when virus activity reaches its peak in the mosquito population. "We encourage people to stay active outdoors, but please keep in mind to wear insect repellent and take other precautions to avoid mosquito bites". In addition, 86 WNV positive mosquito pools have been detected in seven MI counties.

"Past surveillance for West Nile virus in our region has shown that the virus is established within Simcoe Muskoka and that we need to be aware", said Dr. Gardner. About one in five infected persons will have mild illness with fever, and about one in 150 infected people will become severely ill. Symptoms of the disease include fever, chills, headache, neck pain and stiffness, joint pain and stiffness, and mental confusion, noted Dr. Soule. Less than 1 percent of people who are infected will develop a serious neurological illness such as encephalitis or meningitis, which is inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues. Apply repellents only to exposed skin and/or clothing. A few people might develop severe symptoms in which hospitalization is required.

Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold water. If you're out and about - especially in wooded areas or the mountains - it's important to wear long sleeves, long trousers and bug spray to stay safe.

Health officials said residents should keep in mind to wear insect repellent and clothing covering the entire body to help prevent bites.

Homeowners are also advised to remove standing water from around the home, and ensure screens are free from breaks or rips.

Be sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good fix.

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