The first known cases of the Jamestown Canyon virus in Michigan were detected in mosquitoes collected in Bay County, state health officials said Thursday.
The virus is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes, usually from late spring to mid-autumn.
Early symptoms include fever, headache, and fatigue. In rare cases, the virus can cause severe brain and spinal cord disease.
Six Michigan residents were sick with the virus last year.
In the summer in Michigan, people are also exposed to other mosquito-borne diseases, including eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile virus.
The best way to protect yourself against viruses is to avoid mosquito bites, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
“All it takes is one bite from an infected mosquito to cause serious illness,” Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, medical director of MDHHS, said in a statement. “We urge Michigan residents to take precautions such as using an EPA-registered insect repellent when outdoors, avoiding areas where mosquitoes are present if possible, and wearing protective clothing. covering arms and legs to avoid stings.”
Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on deer and other animals that carry the virus.
Health officials recommend residents follow these steps:
• Apply insect repellents containing the active ingredient DEET.
• Wear light colored long sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
• Maintain window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out.
• Remove water from mosquito breeding sites around the house, such as buckets from unused kiddie pools and old tires.
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