Protect Your Family From West Nile Virus

HealthWest Nile Virus

The Kent County Health Department warns there are more signs of confirmed West Nile Virus (WNV) in Michigan.

Though dry weather has helped keep mosquito populations lower than average, two continues in Michigan have recently reported WNV activity.

The Saginaw County Mosquito Abatement Commission tested a mosquito pool, and found the population was positive for WNV.

In Washtenaw County, a wild turkey displaying signs of WNV, tested positive for the virus at Michigan State University.

“We know the virus is circulating in mosquitoes and birds here in Michigan, so now is the time to act,” said Cathy Raevsky, the Administrative Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department.  “Take a few minutes before you and your family go outdoors to make sure you are protected.” 

The Kent County Health Department recommends using insect repellent when outdoors. Apply repellent to clothing and exposed skin, and follow directions on the product label.

They also warn not to apply repellent under clothing, or on cuts, wounds or irritated skin. You should not apply repellent around the eyes or mouth, and if using spray, apply spray to your hands first, and then apply to face.  

Repellent should not be used on infants under 2 months old at all. The health department recommends putting netting over the infant’s stroller instead.

After you get back indoors, wash off the repellent with soap and water, and wash treated clothing before wearing it again.

For more information, the Michigan West Nile Virus website ( includes more about transmission, symptoms and prevention.

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