West Nile impacts Mid-Michigan - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

West Nile impacts Mid-Michigan

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(08/29/12) - Michigan health officials said an 87-year-old woman from Kent County is the fifth person to die from  the West Nile virus in the state this year. An 86-year-old woman from Wayne County is the fourth.

The Centers for Disease Control says there are 80 known cases of the disease in Michigan, enough to call it an epidemic.

Crews at Bay County Mosquito Control say the mosquito population is the worst they've ever seen. That's why something as simple as repellant could make a difference.

Southern Bay County has been hit the hardest by mosquitoes and the most recent rain is to blame. Crews with Bay County Mosquito Control have placed traps throughout the county.

"We're running our night time adult staff at 3 a.m. trying to cover as much as we can," said Tom Putt, director at Bay County Mosquito Control.

Mary McCarry, a biologist for Bay County Mosquito Control, says Bangor, Hampton and Monitor Townships have experienced the largest counts of mosquitoes. The highest count areas are treated first.

"Here in Bay County, we've had a few positive samples. We've had a positive mosquito pull in Bangor Township. We had a dead bird crow test positive from Hampton Township," she said.

Putt says that standing pools of fresh water are becoming a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

"One of the best things is always if they have any containers with water, dump them. If they have any water standing that looks like it's going to be there for a week or so, call us," he said.

"Use precaution and put repellent on and try to stay inside when mosquitoes aren't quite so active. Dusk and dawn," McCarry said.

Elderly people are of the highest risk for getting West Nile.

Crews will continue to spray for the next few weeks.

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