GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - More than 40 human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) infection were confirmed in Kent County
residents last year. The caseload prompted staff at the Kent County Health Department to trap and test mosquito
populations this summer.
Positive results from this testing are meant to serve as an early warning system for the presence of the virus in Kent County. Today, testing of mosquitoes collected at a random site in West Michigan during the past week yielded a result that was preliminarily positive for WNV.
"This test result confirms that the mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus are likely in our county," said Adam London,
Administrative Health Officer of the Kent County Health Department. "This information should encourage residents
take steps to protect their families from mosquitoes." Only one case of illness has been confirmed in Michigan, in St.
Joseph County, so far this year.
The Kent County Health Department recommends the following:
West Nile Virus can produce a range of symptoms in humans. According to the CDC, most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms, though up to 20% may develop mild illness with symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, rash, and swollen lymph glands. Some people will develop severe illness, with severe headaches, high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis, and rarely, death. Persons 55 and over have the highest risk of severe disease.
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