Routine mosquito-borne disease surveillance conducted by the Saginaw County Mosquito Abatement Commission (SCMAC) has detected the first evidence of mosquito-borne virus within Saginaw County this year. Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV) was found in an Aedes mosquito collected on June 16. The commission said while the threat of virus infection in Saginaw County is low, precautions should be taken to avoid mosquito biting activity. The best way to prevent mosquito-borne disease is to protect yourself and family from mosquito bites:
• Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
• When outdoors wear shoes and socks, light colored long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt.
• Apply an insect repellent that contains DEET or other EPA-approved products according to label
instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
• Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or
other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.
• Eliminate all sources of standing water around the yard that can support mosquito breeding,
including water in buckets, wading pools, old tires, and any other object that may collect water.
Contact SCMAC to report standing water in roadside ditches, flooded yards, fields, or similar locations
that may produce mosquitoes.
SCMAC maintains an aggressive control effort throughout the summer, targeting areas that favor the mosquito vectors responsible for mosquito-borne disease. Control efforts have also been ongoing throughout the County for other mosquito nuisance as well.
Jamestown Canyon virus is a re-emerging mosquito transmitted virus that can be found in many mosquito species known to bite people. Mosquito-borne viruses are transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus from an infected bird or mammal. Human infections are rarely diagnosed since the majority of infections result in no symptoms (asymptomatic). When symptoms occur, they include a sudden onset of flu-like illness with fever. Severe cases, although rare, may develop neurological symptoms such as meningitis or encephalitis requiring hospitalization.
Citizens are encouraged to take appropriate measures to avoid mosquitoes and are advised to contact the Commission’s office at (989) 755-5751 if they notice a crow or blue jay that has been dead for less than 24 hours. These birds are valuable for West Nile Virus surveillance as they suffer a high mortality from the virus.