State health officials have confirmed this year’s first mosquito-borne virus in Ottawa County.
A resident tested positive for Jamestown Canyon virus, which is spread to people through bites from infected mosquitoes. Most cases occur from late spring through mid-fall. Illness can develop from a few days to two weeks following a mosquito bite. While most people do not become ill, initial symptoms can include fever, headache and fatigue. In rare cases, it can cause severe disease, including encephalitis , which is infection of the brain, or meningitis, infecting the lining around the brain and spinal cord.
Officials say simple, effective steps can prevent the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses, like using insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other EPA-approved products to exposed skin or clothing and wearing light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites. Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside and empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, like buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs.