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Health, Science and Environment

Michigan reports first mosquito-borne virus of summer

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Michigan.gov
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State health officials have reported the first mosquito-borne virus of 2021 in Bay, Saginaw and Oakland Counties.

  

The state says the first mosquito-borne virus found in Michigan this summer is the Jamestown Canyon Virus.

It can cause fever, headache and fatigue. In rare cases it can cause encephalitis and meningitis.  

Emily Dinh, medical entomologist for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said the Jamestown Canyon Virus is not a very common.

 

“It's not a very common disease circulating out there, so there's the thought that perhaps people are infected more often than we think," Dinh said. "People don't always get ill when they become infected with something because that's their immune system kicking in and protecting them.”

 

She says mosquito-borne diseases are not that common in Michigan. The three most common are Jamestown Canyon, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and the West Nile virus.

 

“When a person comes down with an illness that may be suspected of an viral disease, whether it be Jamestown Canyon, West Nile, Triple E, many of those symptoms, especially early on, can look very similar," Dinh said. "Even later on, when you start getting neurological symptoms, it can be very difficult to differentiate them between each other just by looking at symptoms.” 

Dinh said the best ways to protect yourself from the mosquito-borne diseases is to prevent mosquito bites by using EPA registered repellents and wearing light colored clothing.

TAG: Courtney produced this story as part of the Michigan News Group internship. A collaboration between WCMU and eight community newspapers.