West Nile Virus found in Saginaw mosquitoes

Health care officials say a mosquito sampling in Saginaw this week tested positive for West Nile Virus.

Officials are urging residents to cover up and use repellent this holiday weekend.

Angela Minicuci is with the Michigan Department of Community Health. She said everyone is at risk, but people working outside should be particularly careful and recommends checking doors, screens and wearing protective clothing.

“So a lot of the symptoms of West Nile include having a high fever, confusion, muscle weakness and a severe headache,” Minicuci said, “The more serious complications of West Nile can include neurological illnesses such as meningitis and encephalitis. So we recommend if you begin experiencing any of those symptoms and you feel like you may have been bitten by a mosquito that you see a physician as soon as possible.”

Minicuci said the numbers of cases is often tied to the weather and fluctuate from year-to- year. Rainy springs and summers tend to be better than dry seasons because the fresh water flushes out the mosquito eggs and larvae.

“The mosquito species that carries West Nile does very well in dirty stagnant water,” Minicuci said, “So shallow ditches, retention ponds, unused pools, storm drains. Those are breeding grounds for the mosquito species that carries the West Nile virus. So when you have a lot of those areas of water that aren’t being flushed out by consistent heavy rain thats a breeding ground for that mosquito species.”

She said there have been no cases of West Nile virus in humans in Michigan this year.

About West Nile Virus http://www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases/0,1607,7-186-25805—,00.html