Deadly mosquito-borne JCV virus detected in Michigan's Bay County: How to protect yourself
A deadly mosquito-borne virus has been detected in Bay County, Michigan health officials said Thursday.
The Jamestown Canyon virus, which is spread through mosquitoes that have fed on infected deer or other animals, was found in a pool of mosquitoes collected in Bay County.
So far, there have been no confirmed cases in Michigan. In 2021, six people contracted the virus statewide.
This is the first infected mosquito pool detected in 2022.
The virus is spread to people through bites from infected mosquitoes. The best way to stay safe from the virus is to prevent mosquito bites.
Signs of JCV infection include fever, headache and fatigue that can progress to severe diseases like encephalitis and meningitis in the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms can develop within a few days to two weeks following a bite from an infected mosquito. There is currently no vaccine to prevent the virus or medicines to treat it
“It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause a severe illness,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, the state’s chief medical executive. “We urge Michiganders to take precautions such as using an EPA-registered insect repellent when outdoors, avoiding areas where mosquitoes are present if possible, and wearing clothing to cover arms and legs to prevent bites.”
You can protect yourself from mosquito-borne diseases by applying insect repellents containing DEET, or other EPA-approved products, on exposed skin and clothing.
Use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside and empty water from areas where mosquitos could lay eggs, like buckets and unused pools.
Wearing light-colored long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors will also help to prevent bites.
Contact Navya Gupta: [email protected]