West Nile Virus Found in Bay County Mosquitoes

The first evidence of West Nile Virus (WNV) for the season has been detected in Bangor Township during routine disease surveillance conducted by Bay County Mosquito Control. Extensive control efforts are underway to reduce adult and larval mosquito populations. Mosquito Control staff will continue to monitor for West Nile Virus until October 1st by testing mosquito samples and dead crows or blue jays.

Bay County has seen West Nile virus-positive birds and mosquitoes nearly every year since 2002. Bay County Mosquito Control says the best way to avoid West Nile Virus or any other mosquito-carried illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Bay County Mosquito Control issued the following recommendations:

 Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.

 Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks when outdoors.

 Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to label instructions. Consult a physician or visit the CDC website (www.cdc.gov) before applying repellents to infants.

 The Culex mosquitoes that transmit WNV often develop in container habitats around the home. Eliminate sources of standing water on property (i.e. wading pools, old tires, bird baths, containers) by dumping water when possible to prevent larvae from developing into biting adults.

 Vaccinating horses for both West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis is strongly recommended.

For more information on WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases, visit the following websites:

Bay County Health Dept. : http://www.baycounty-mi.gov/Health/CommunicableDisease.aspx

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention :  http://www.cdc.gov/westnile

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services:   http://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs