Michigan confirms first human case of mosquito-borne illness of 2020

Mosquito(Associated Press)
Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 5:39 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Mosquito-borne illness has arrived in Michigan for the summer.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the state’s first human infection with a mosquito-borne virus for 2020. An Ottawa County resident tested positive for Jamestown Canyon virus.

The illness spreads from mosquito bites generally from late spring through mid-fall.

Most people with Jamestown Canyon virus don’t experience symptoms, but some people develop a fever, headache and fatigue. Rare serious cases can lead to encephalitis or meningitis.

The first two human cases of Jamestown Canyon virus in Michigan were reported in Oakland and Menominee counties in 2018, followed by one case in Cass County last year. The illness has spread throughout most of the United States and has been increasing in the Upper Midwest.

Health officials are urging the public to take the following steps to avoid mosquito-borne illnesses this summer:

  • Apply insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA-approved products to exposed skin or clothing.
  • Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
  • Fix any holes in window and door screens to keep bugs outside.
  • Empty anything with standing water, such as buckets, kiddie pools and tires.

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