First 2012 West Nile Virus case confirmed in SE Michigan man

Jul 27, 2012

Oakland County health officials say they've received Michigan Department of Community Health confirmation of West Nile virus in a 44-year-old man, the first such case reported in the state this year.

Today, the Oakland County Health Division announced that the man was hospitalized earlier this month after showing symptoms and he is now at home recovering.

On July 3, the MDCH announced it detected the virus in a mosquito pool sample in Saginaw County, and a wild turkey in Washtenaw County.

The department says an unusually warm spring encouraged the early hatching of mosquitoes, which transmit the virus. Last year, WNV was responsible for 34 serious illnesses and two fatalities in Michigan, according to MDCH.

From an MDCH press release:

"Adults who are 50 and older have the highest risk of illness caused by West Nile Virus. People who work in outdoor occupations like construction and landscaping are also at increased risk of getting bitten by an infected mosquito," said Dr. Corinne Miller, state epidemiologist at MDCH. "One bite from an infected mosquito can lead to a severe and possibly life-altering illness. Prevention is the key to protection."

Prevention tips include draining standing water in your yard, avoiding skin exposure to mosquitos, wearing mosquito repellant and reporting sick or dead animals to authorities.