Michigan West Nile Virus Update: Total Human Cases 270
September 24, 2002
The Michigan Department of Community Health today announced 2 additional cases of West Nile virus disease in humans, for total of 270 probable and confirmed cases in Michigan. Deaths have increased to 13 with the deaths of a previously reported case in a 68 year-old male from Oakland County and a previously reported case in a 49 year-old male from Oakland County.
Individuals with fever and signs of encephalitis and/or meningitis should be tested for West Nile virus. Symptoms of encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the spinal cord and brain linings) include severe headache, stiff neck, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, muscle weakness, convulsions and paralysis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently urged doctors to also test patients for West Nile virus if they present with sudden, painless paralysis in the absence of stroke.
Case information can be found at http://www.michigan.gov/mdch and by clicking on “West Nile virus.” The cases are as follows:
· Macomb County has 1 new case, for a total of 42 cases.
· Oakland County has 1 new case, for a total of 104 cases.
· Bay County has 1 previously reported case.
· Cass County has 1 previously reported case.
· Eaton County has 1 previously reported case.
· Ingham County has 3 previously reported cases.
· Kent County has 35 previously reported cases.
· Muskegon County has 1 previously reported case.
· Otsego County has 1 previously reported case.
· Ottawa County has 4 previously reported cases.
· St. Clair County has 1 previously reported case.
· Van Buren County has 1 previously reported case.
· Wayne County has 75 previously reported cases.
Although on-going investigations demonstrate that the virus may rarely be transmitted to recipients of organ transplants or blood transfusions, it is well documented that West Nile virus is spread to humans by infected mosquitoes and is NOT transmitted from person-to-person, horses to people, or from birds to people. People cannot get it from touching or kissing others who have the virus or from a health care worker who has treated someone with it. There are many ways to reduce the risk of becoming infected, including:
· Applying insect repellant that contains the active ingredient DEET to exposed skin or clothing, always following the manufacturer’s directions for use on the label.
· Maintaining window and door screening to keep mosquitoes out of buildings.
· Draining standing water in the yard. Empty water from mosquito breeding sites, such as flower pots, pet bowls, clogged rain gutters, swimming pool covers, discarded tires, buckets, barrels, cans and similar sites in which mosquitoes can lay eggs.
· Avoiding or minimizing outdoor activity at dawn, dusk and early evening when mosquito activity is high. If outdoors, wear light colored long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
Blood, organ, tissue and bone marrow donation do not pose any risk of West Nile virus to the donor. Information on organ donation can be found at http://www.giftoflifemichigan.org and blood donation information can be found at http://www.semredcross.org/.
For communities considering additional mosquito control efforts, the Michigan Departments of Agriculture and Community Health recommend the following:
· Involve the community as much as possible in the development and implementation of additional mosquito control efforts.
· Visit the Michigan Department of Agriculture’s web site at www.michigan.gov/mda for a list of vendors licensed and certified to do mosquito control work. Contact their Pesticide and Plant Management Division (517-373-1087) or the nearest MDA regional office for further regulatory and technical information or for assistance in developing comprehensive and integrated plans.
· Use the lowest volumes, lowest concentrations of the least toxic mosquito control products that will be effective.
· For controlling mosquito larvae, focus on standing water that cannot be drained (e.g., catchment basins).
· For controlling adult mosquitoes, focus on community green spaces (e.g., cemeteries, parks, golf courses) at nightfall and in the absence of human activity.
The most recent listing of the 67 counties where West Nile virus has been detected in birds and the 145 horses it has been detected in can be found at http://www.michigan.gov/mda and by clicking on “West Nile virus,” located along the right “Quick Links” bar. Additional information on West Nile virus can also be found at http://www.cdc.gov and http://www.michigan.gov/mdch.