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MDHHS confirms first mosquito-borne virus of 2024

LANSING, Mich. – It’s that time of year again. Mosquitoes are everywhere, and so is the risk of mosquito-borne diseases.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is advising residents to protect themselves after the Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV) was detected in a group of Saginaw County mosquitoes, the first mosquito-borne virus confirmed in Michigan this year.

“It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause serious illness,” said medical director Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian. “We urge Michiganders to take precautions such as using EPA-registered insect repellent outdoors, avoiding areas where mosquitoes are present if possible and wearing clothing to cover arms and legs to prevent bites .”

The state health department says this spring has been particularly warm and wet, conditions that are giving rise to several species of biting mosquitoes.

Symptoms of JCV include fatigue, headache and fever, according to MDHHS. Although rare, they can escalate to serious brain diseases, meningitis or encephalitis.

To prevent JCV or other mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, observe the following precautions:

  • Wear insect repellent with DEET or other products approved by the EPA.
  • Wear long clothes in light colors if you plan to go outside. Use repellent on clothing.
  • Make sure all door and window screens are intact.
  • Dump standing water from buckets, old tires, unused kiddie pools or other objects that hold water.

Visit the State of Michigan website for more information.

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