West Nile Virus found in Saginaw County for 18th straight summer

Two mosquitoes caught during routine monitoring were carrying the virus
Two mosquitoes trapped in Saginaw County tested positive for West Nile Virus.
Two mosquitoes trapped in Saginaw County tested positive for West Nile Virus.(MGN)
Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 12:36 PM EDT
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SAGINAW COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - Officials with the Saginaw County Mosquito Abatement Commission says West Nile virus activity has been found for the 18th straight summer.

Two mosquitoes captured in the county during routine monitoring in July were carrying West Nile virus, according to the commission. Officials did not provide information about where in the county the mosquitoes were captured.

Saginaw County monitors mosquitoes for West Nile, Jamestown Canyon, La Crosse encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis and Eastern Equine encephalitis from the spring through the end of September every year. West Nile virus has been found in the county every year since 2002.

Areas of Saginaw County with elevated levels of mosquito-borne virus activity receive extensive control efforts to reduce their population.

Residents who find a crow or blue jay that has been dead for less than 24 should call the mosquito abatement commission at 989-755-5751.

Most humans who contact mosquito-borne illnesses never get ill or suffer any symptoms. Severe cases can lead to hospitalization or death, such as last summer’s Eastern Equine encephalitis outbreak in Michigan that killed six people.

Residents are urged to follow common measures to avoid mosquitoes and any illnesses they may be carrying:

  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts outdoors.
  • Apply an insect repellent containing DEET or another product approved by the EPA.
  • Make sure doors and windows have screens without screens or tears.
  • Eliminate areas of standing water, such as bird baths, unused swimming pools, wading pools, old tires and any other object holding water.

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