First cases of West Nile Virus for 2017 found in Michigan

(AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The state’s first human cases of West Nile Virus this year have been confirmed in lower Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said that two people in Montcalm County, one person in Oakland and one person in Macomb County were found to have been stricken with the virus earlier this month.

All have been hospitalized for treatment of neurologic disease.

“This is an important reminder to stay vigilant and protect against mosquito bites throughout the summer and into the fall,” said Dr. Eden Wells, Chief Medical Executive at the MDHHS.

While these are the first confirmed human cases there are 148 birds that have tested positive for West Nile in 44 or Michigan’s 83 counties.

Eight horses have been infected with West Nile in seven counties, including Clinton and Jackson counties.

Most people who become infected with WNV will not develop any symptoms of illness.

However, some become sick three to 15 days after exposure.

About one-in-five infected persons will have mild illness with fever, and about one in 150 infected people will become severely ill.

People can reduce the risk of West Nile Virus by removing mosquito breeding areas such as stagnant pools of water, using insect repellents and maintain window and door screens.

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