State Urges West Nile Precautions for Labor Day Weekend

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

If you're packing for the long holiday weekend, don't forget the Deet.

The Michigan Department of Community Health said don't panic over the latest death bringing the total to four in the state, just take precautions this holiday weekend.

"Around whether it be your home or your camper, wherever you go, if there's like a bucket or a pool of water, drain it, get rid of it, because that's where this mosquito will breed," said Michigan Department of Community Healthy spokesperson Angela Minicuci.

MDCH says mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus are most active at dusk and dawn, but no matter the time of day, people should wear bug spray.

"Any brand really, so long as it contains an EPA approved ingredient, and Deet is the most common one," Minicuci said. "But it should say right on the package if this is an EPA approved ingredient."

There's a bug spray for anything - from deep woods campers to unscented for sensitive skin and children - but for some people that's still not enough. Some campers at Sleepy Hollow State Park are taking matters into their owns hands using devices like the Jolt Bug Zapper.

"It's fantastic, it's that electrical thing that really does zap them right away if you can get them," said Manuel Melendez. "It's a fun little thing to zap the bugs, but it helps too, anything helps."

Campers also like citronella candles and waistband clip-on repellants. MDCH recommends wearing long sleeves and pants at night, but if it's too hot for that, at the very least, keep doors and tents shut.

"Your screens around your doors and windows, make sure those are in good shape, and there aren't any holes," Minicuci said. "Also, don't leave your door propped open, because this particular mosquito would like to fly into your home, and it's actually a mosquito that would bite you at night while you're asleep."

If you are bitten and feel any type of symptom including dizziness or fever, MDCH recommends being checked out by a doctor.

There are currently 80 cases of West Nile Virus in the state. In mid-Michigan, four of those cases are in Ingham County.

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