First signs of 2 mosquito-borne illness this year detected in Saginaw County

Mosquito feeding on a human host, Photo Date: January 23, 2016 / Cropped Photo: Day Donaldson / CC BY 2.0 / (MGN)
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SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) (6/12/2019) - The first signs of West Nile Virus and Jamestown Canyon Virus carried by mosquitoes this year has been detected in Saginaw County.

The Saginaw County Mosquito Abatement Commission found traces of the illnesses in two different types of mosquitoes caught during routine sampling conducted in May.

Routine sampling and monitoring for mosquito-borne illness will continue through September. Mosquito control measures will focus on areas of Saginaw County with the highest levels of illness activity.

Residents are asked to report any dead crows or blue jays to the mosquito abatement commission by calling 989-755-5751 as soon as possible.

This is the 17th straight year that West Nile Virus has been found in Saginaw County. Jamestown Canyon Virus has largely been dormant in recent years, but is back on the rise around the United States.

Both illnesses are transmitted to humans through a bite, but most people won't notice any symptoms. Hospitalization for a flu-like illness, fever, meningitis or encephalitis are required in very rare cases.

The mosquito abatement commission offers the following tips to avoid bites that may transmit illnesses:

-- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.

-- When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, light colored long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.

-- Apply an insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants. Only use products that are registered by
the Environmental Protection Agency.

-- Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.

-- Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding, including water in bird baths, neglected swimming pools, wading pools, old tires and any other object holding water.