Ottawa County resident is first in Michigan to be infected with mosquito-borne virus –

An Ottawa County resident was confirmed Tuesday to be the first Michigander infected with a mosquito-borne virus this year.

The Michigan Department of and Human Services and Ottawa County Department issued an advisory marking the first case of Jamestown Canyon virus, which is spread to people through bites from infected mosquitoes. While most people do not become ill, according to the release, the disease can cause severe reactions in rare cases, including infection of the brain or the lining around the brain and spinal cord.

Michigan reported its first two cases of Jamestown Canyon virus in 2018 among patients from Oakland and Menominee counties. Another case was detected in a person from Cass County last year.

Most cases occur from late spring through mid-fall, according to the release. Illness can develop from a few days to two weeks following a mosquito bite, and initial symptoms can include fever, headache and fatigue, according to the release.

“During the warm weather months in Michigan, there is always a risk of viruses spread by mosquitoes, including but not limited to West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.” said Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “This is an important reminder to stay vigilant and protect against mosquito bites throughout the summer and into the fall”.

The virus can be spread from deer or other animals to mosquitoes. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other animals or people through bites.

Residents can stay healthy by using the following steps recommended by state officials:

  • Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other EPA-approved products to exposed skin or clothing. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
  • Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
  • Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs.

For more information and surveillance activity about West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne viruses, visit

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