A 44-year-old Bay County woman with pre-existing health problems and a nine-month-old Oakland County baby may have been hospitalized as a result of the effects of West Nile virus.
Both people went into the hospital with symptoms of encephalitis. The woman is improving in the hospital. The baby is also improving, but he is no longer in hospital care.
Health officials are investigating the two cases along with two other probable cases of human West Nile virus. The Center for Disease Control test results should be available by the end of this week or next week.
They say people should not panic because many people will experience the West Nile virus without even noticing they have it. However, experts say people should continue to take normal precautions to protect themselves from mosquitoes. (wearing repellant, clearing stagnant ponds of water, wearing long sleeves, etc.)
Entomologists say mosquitoes usually live for about two weeks, and during that time they can lay 700 eggs. They recommend using insect repellant with DEET.
DEET is also called diethyl toluamide. Experts say DEET confuses a mosquito and disorients it when it is looking for a prey. It stops the mosquito from drawing blood when it bites someone.
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Mosquito Protection Tips
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, hats and boots to reduce exposed skin.
- Limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.
- Apply repellent liberally to all exposed skin areas.
- Apply repellents to clothing, shoes, tents, mosquito nets, and other gear.
- Use mosquito coils (ensure coils do not contain DDT).
- Sleep in well-screened areas whenever possible.
- Ensure that door and window screens fit tightly and do not have holes.
- Insect repellents that contain 30-35 percent DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) will provide adults with sufficient protection. The concentration of DEET in a repellent should not exceed 35 percent. Products with lower concentrations of DEET are effective but for a shorter period of time.
- Reducing the amount of standing water on your property can significantly decrease the potential for mosquito breeding around your home.
- Common breeding sites may include garbage cans, clogged roof gutters/drainage ditches, birdbaths, pool covers, flowerpots, tires, tarps, rainwater barrels, wading pools etc.
- Containers that may accumulate water should be removed or holes drilled in the bottom.
- Pools should be maintained and ornamental pools aerated or stocked with fish.
Source: www.lambtonhealth.on.ca/environmental/mosquito.asp contributed to this report.