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Confirmation of West Nile Virus in the Oakland County Mosquito Basin

PONTIAC (WWJ) – For the first time this year, a mosquito infected with West Nile virus was detected in Oakland County.

The Oakland County Health Department says that it has been detected in a mosquito pond in Pontiac. So far, no confirmed human cases have been recorded in Oakland County this year, but residents are urged to protect themselves from the threat of West Nile virus by taking the necessary precautions .

"Although the positive pool was found in Pontiac, this indicates that West Nile virus is present in communities in Oakland County," said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer of the division of the Oakland County Health, in a statement. "Residents are encouraged to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites."

Follow these prevention tips:

  • Use an insect repellent approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. The safety and effectiveness of all insect repellents registered with the EPA are evaluated. They contain DEET, picaridine, IR3535, lemon eucalyptus oil or para-menthane-diol as the active ingredient. Repellents containing a higher percentage of the active ingredient usually provide more durable protection.
  • Eliminate stagnant water sources around your home to eliminate mosquito breeding sites: Turn over any type of container that can collect water. Once a week, empty items containing water such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, bird ponds, pet bowls, flower pots and trash cans.
  • Clean clogged gutters, especially if leaves tend to clog drains.
  • Treat stagnant water that can not be removed, such as retention ponds or drainage ditches, with a mosquito larvicide. Mosquito larvicide is easy to use and can be purchased at most DIY stores.
  • Wear protective clothing such as shirts and long-sleeved pants.
  • Limit outdoor activities from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Maintain mosquito nets on doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering buildings. Do not keep the doors open.

West Nile virus is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are infected with the virus by pricking an infected bird. The virus is then transmitted to humans by the bite of the infected mosquito. Most people infected with the virus have no symptoms or suffer from a mild illness, such as fever, headache and body aches. However, in some individuals, more severe inflammation and swelling of the brain that can cause illness can develop. People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop severe, potentially life-threatening symptoms of West Nile virus if they become ill.

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