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West Nile Virus Detected in Michigan

Mosquito (Culex pipiens) going to sting
Anest/ThinkStock

It’s only mid-May and West Nile virus has already been confirmed in Michigan. A release from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources states that the virus has been confirmed in three bird across the state.

A turkey in Barry County and two crows – one in Kalamazoo County and one in Saginaw County, were found to have the virus.

The DNR is reminding Michiganders that the best way to prevent yourself from getting the virus is to prevent mosquito bites.

People who work outdoors or spend a lot of time outside are at an increased risk for West Nile. Adults 50 years of age and older have the highest risk of severe illness caused by the virus.

Symptoms of West Nile include a high fever, confusion, muscle weakness, and a severe headache. The virus can also cause more serious complications including neurological illnesses like meningitis and encephalitis.

In 2016, there were 43 serious illnesses and three deaths related to West Nile in Michigan.

The three West Nile virus positive birds were found sick or dead in early May and tested positive at Michigan State University this week.

For information about West Nile virus activity in Michigan and to report sick or dead birds, visit www.michigan.gov/westnile. Additional information can be found at www.cdc.gov/westnile.

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