West Nile Virus has been detected in #Northern Michigan where two birds have tested positive for the virus in Montmorency County, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Meanwhile, in Wexford County, a horse also became infected with the disease.

The outbreak

The West Nile Virus outbreaks in Michigan have been occurring since 2002. Last year, more than 100 birds were infected in the state. One individual also has contracted the disease.

True North Radio Network reports that there were 43 serious illnesses and three deaths linked to West Nile Virus in Michigan. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control stated that there were 2,038 human cases of the virus and 94 deaths related to the disease across the nation.

Take precautions

Health experts warn people to be aware of the disease and avoid being infected. Dr. Joshua Meyerson, the Medical Director for District Health Department 4, said that to prevent it, you must avoid being bitten mosquitoes. He also recommends using insect repellent and wearing pants and long sleeves while outdoors. Dr. Meyerson also suggested to drain sources of standing water near homes, and not to stay outside from dusk until dawn.

Likewise, Anne Young, the personal health director at District Health Department 10, said that the best thing that you can do is to take precautions from getting mosquito bites. She further said that 70 to 80 percent of the people who were infected by a mosquito show no symptoms. On the other hand, one in five people will have symptoms including achiness and fever.

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What is West Nile Virus?

West Nile Virus is a mosquito-transmitted infection that might afflict people and animals. The symptoms include fever, mild headache, feeling tired, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, rash, disorientation and sudden weakness. Some individuals have severe symptoms such as inflammation of the spinal cord or the brain.

People who have a higher risk of acquiring the disease are those over 60-year-old, the very young, those with immunosuppression or those with underlying conditions such as HIV infection. Health experts said that you will start noticing the symptoms two to six days after you get infected.

Currently, no vaccine or specific treatment is available for the infection. There are only over-the-counter pain relievers that can be used to relieve the symptoms of the infection. For patients who have a severe infection, they need to be hospitalized to have supportive treatment like pain medication, intravenous fluids, and nursing care.