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Mosquito-borne West Nile Virus detected in West Michigan

Ottawa County Health Department
Ottawa County
Ottawa County Health Department

Human cases of West Nile virus infections reported in two west Michigan counties.

In Kent and Ottawa Counties, three residents have been hospitalized after contracting West Nile virus from infected mosquitos. Two in Ottawa County, the most since 2018, and one in Kent County. All three reporting travel limited to the area suggesting WNV infected mosquitos are in West Michigan.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, “About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness.” While most infected people don’t experience symptoms, for those who do, it includes fever, headache, body aches and joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea and rash.

The Kent County Health Department and Ottawa Department of Public Health say with unseasonably warm weather, mosquitos will remain active. Both departments recommend taking precautions if your plans include outdoor activities. Wear mosquito repellent containing 10-35% DEET, wear light colored clothing and at dusk, head indoors.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.