SAGINAW, MI People are encouraged to take strong measures to avoid mosquito bites after the Saginaw County Mosquito Abatement Commission detected the first evidence of West Nile Virus this summer.

The results came from routine mosquito-borne disease surveillance. Positive samples were collected in the city of Saginaw and Jonesfield Township, though there are currently no human cases of the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. This is the 14th year the virus has been detected in Saginaw County.

William W. Stanuszek, who is part of the Saginaw County Mosquito Abatement Commission, said he believes the last human case recorded in Saginaw County was in 2002. The commission works to combat West Nile Virus and nuisance mosquitoes through spraying at night, eliminating abandoned pools with standing water and educating the community.

While West Nile Virus is a serious threat, Stanuszek said its occurrence should not cause alarm as long as county residents take proper precautions.

"With our running programs we've shown effectiveness," he said. "It's more awareness than alarm. It's being seen a little earlier this year, but nothing else is unusual."

Testing by the commission will continue through September by testing mosquito samples and collecting dead crows or blue jays to look for high percentages of infection rates. West Nile Virus might be occurring if there are numerous deaths of crows and blue jays in the area.

West Nile Virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that picked it up by feeding on an infected bird. If you notice a crow or blue jay that has been dead less than 24 hours, call SCMAC at (989) 755-5751.

Some people might become ill three to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Only about two in 10 people experience illness, which comes in the form of fever, headaches or body aches. About one in 150 suffer more serious illness or death. Those age 50 or older have the highest risk of serious illness.

How to prevent West Nile Virus:
  • Avoid being outside at peak mosquito times, such as in the evening.
  • Wear clothing that covers you when outdoors.
  • Apply repellent that contains DEET or picaridin. Ask your doctor about applying repellent to infants.
  • Make sure screens on windows and doors are tight-fitting, and repair those that aren't. Keep windows and doors shut, especially at night.
  • Eliminate sources of standing water, such as bird baths or abandoned swimming pools, as this supports mosquito breeding. Call SCMAC if you find standing water in ditches, flooded yards or fields.


http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t..._in_sagin.html