Martes, 19 Marcha, 2019

First West Nile activity of 2017 detected in Mich.

MDHHS announced Friday two crows and a turkey were found with West Nile virus. 
 Grendel Khan  Flickr MDHHS announced Friday two crows and a turkey were found with West Nile virus. Grendel Khan Flickr
Cris De Lacerda | 19 May, 2017, 22:47

The first confirmed 2017 West Nile virus activity in MI has been confirmed in three birds across the state.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said a dead turkey found in Barry County and a dead crow found in Kalamazoo County this month tested positive for West Nile virus.

West Nile virus is acquired in mosquitoes when the insects feeds on infected birds.

MDHHS says adults age 50 years or old are at highest risk for severe illness caused by West Nile virus.

Symptoms of West Nile virus include fever, confusion, muscles weakness and severe headache. More serious complications include neurological illnesses such as meningitis.

There had been two reported West Nile cases and three cases of St. Louis Encephalitis, a similar mosquito-borne illness, in 2016. Nationally, there were 2,038 human cases of the virus and 94 deaths reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus may breed near people's homes in storm drains, shallow ditches, retention ponds, and unused pools.

Replace any window and door screens that have holes or are not fitted properly. And MDHHS says that as temperatures rise, mosquitoes and the virus develop more quickly.

The three birds that were found with West Nile were found either sick or dead earlier this month. Birds are the natural animal reservoir for the virus and carry it in their blood.

Mosquitoes that bite an infected bird can pass the virus to humans.

They figure that because most people get the virus, but never feel ill from it, that there were actually many more actual cases out there.

"As with many wildlife diseases, vigilant observation and reporting from the public are critical in helping health and wildlife experts better understand and contain the transmission of West Nile Virus", said Dr. Kelly Straka, state wildlife veterinarian.