Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) urges residents to help keep mosquito populations low this season by taking preventive measures as part of their spring clean-up. These actions will help reduce the risk of West Nile Virus (WNV) and other mosquito-borne diseases.
"Last year Oakland County and the State of Michigan experienced the largest number of WNV cases since 2002," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. "Oakland County fared far better than other large urban counties in Michigan due to the intense prevention efforts implemented by the Health Division."
Oakland County residents can reduce the mosquito population through these prevention measures:
- Eliminate mosquito breeding sites around your home. Empty standing water from flower pots, pet bowls, clogged rain gutters, swimming pool covers, old tires, buckets, barrels, cans, and similar items where mosquitoes can lay eggs.
- Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or other EPA-approved ingredient to exposed skin or clothing, always following the manufacturer's directions for use.
- Avoid shaded and wooded areas where mosquitoes may be present.
- Wear long-sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when outdoors.
- Limit outdoor activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Maintain window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Report a sick or dead bird, or mammal, at the State of Michigan Emerging Disease Issues webpage, michigan.gov/emergingdiseases. Select West Nile Virus, then How to Report a Dead Bird or Mammal.
"It can take less than 10 days for mosquito eggs to develop into adult mosquitoes," said Kathy Forzley, manager/health officer of OCHD. "By taking preventative measures now, you can help reduce the risk of West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases this summer."
West Nile Virus (WNV) is a virus spread to humans through the bite of a mosquito that is infected with WNV after biting a bird that carries the virus. Most people infected with WNV have either no symptoms or experience a mild illness such as fever, headache and body aches. However, in some individuals, mostly the elderly, a much more serious disease affecting the brain tissue can develop.
For more information, visit the Oakland County Health Division website at oakgov.com/health
For media inquiries only, contact Kathy Forzley, Manager/Health Officer, Oakland County Health Division at 248-858-1410.