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Tag Archive | "mosquitoes"

West Nile Virus in Kent County

From the Kent County Health Department


More than 40 human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) infection were confirmed in Kent County residents last year. The caseload prompted staff at the Kent County Health Department to trap and test mosquito populations this summer. Positive results from this testing are meant to serve as an early warning system for the presence of the virus in Kent County. Last week, testing of mosquitoes collected at a random site in West Michigan

during the week yielded a result that was preliminarily positive for WNV.

“This test result confirms that the mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus are likely in our county,” said Adam London, Administrative Health Officer of the Kent County Health Department. “This information should encourage residents take steps to protect their families from mosquitoes.”

Only one case of illness has been confirmed in Michigan, in St. Joseph County, so far this year.

The Kent County Health Department recommends the following:

*At home, be sure you are not making it easy for mosquitoes to breed. Make sure to eliminate any standing water. Empty water from birdbaths, flower pots, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels, and cans twice a week. Make sure rain gutters are clear of debris. Throw out tarps, old tires and other items that could collect water.

*Use insect repellent when outdoors. Apply repellent to clothing and exposed skin, and always follow directions on the product label.

*Don’t 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. KCHD recommends putting netting over the infant’s stroller. Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not to be used on children under three years of age.

*When using repellent on children, put it on your hands first, then on the child. Children tend to put their hands in or near their mouths, so don’t apply repellent to a child’s hands.

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

*Avoid areas where mosquitoes are likely to be, such as wooded areas or swampy land.

West Nile Virus can produce a range of symptoms in humans. According to the CDC, most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms, though up to 20 percent may develop mild illness with symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, rash, and swollen lymph glands. Some people will develop severe illness, with severe headaches, high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis, and rarely, death. Persons 55 and over have the highest risk of severe disease.

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Protect Michigan pets and livestock

Vaccinate before summer


Now that it’s spring, animal health officials at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) are reminding Michigan owners that vaccinating pets and livestock protects them from diseases, even if they are exposed to an infected animal or disease-carrier, such as mosquitoes and ticks.

“Vaccinating, deworming, and routine animal health activities should occur in the spring before moving to sales, exhibitions, or even before going on vacation,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Steven Halstead. “State law also requires all dogs six months and older to be licensed. To get a license, an owner must show proof that a veterinarian has vaccinated the dog against rabies, and that the vaccine is current. Each year we remind animal owners of the importance of vaccinating, which not only protects the pet, but also the food-animal industry.”

Core vaccines are recommended for most pets. Additional “non-core vaccines” (e.g., feline leukemia, canine kennel cough and other vaccines) may be appropriate if the animals are going to pet care facilities, kennels, or shows where they will be co-mingling. Additionally, pet and livestock owners are encouraged to have their veterinarian check for internal parasites and heartworms.

MDARD recommends owners speak with their private veterinarian regarding the following vaccinations:

Dogs: rabies, canine distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus. In addition, owners should have the dogs checked for heartworm and intestinal parasites. Some veterinarians also recommend vaccination against leptospirosis and treatment to prevent Lyme disease.

Cats: rabies, herpes virus, calicivirus, and panleukopenia.

Horses: MDARD mandates Equine infectious anemia (EIA) testing if traveling to a public event, as part of a sale, or importing a horse into Michigan from another state; and owners should talk to their veterinarian about the following vaccines: Tetanus toxoid, rabies, Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis, West Nile Virus, and Rhinopneumonitis (EHV-1 and EHV-4).

Horse owners should prepare to follow these tips to prevent mosquito-borne illness:

Vaccinate your horses. Inexpensive vaccines for EEE and WNV are readily available and should be repeated at least annually. It is never too late to vaccinate horses. Talk to your veterinarian for details.

Use approved insect repellants to protect horses.

If possible, put horses in stables, stalls, or barns during the prime mosquito exposure hours of dusk and dawn.

Eliminate standing water, and drain troughs and buckets at least two times a week.

Sheep and goats: CD-T toxoid provides three-way protection against enterotoxemia (overeating disease) caused by Clostridium perfringins types C and D and tetanus (lockjaw) caused by Clostridium tetani. The large animal rabies vaccine is approved for use in sheep. No rabies vaccine is currently licensed for goats.

Cattle: Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (commonly called IBR); Bovine Viral Diarrhea, PI3, BRSV (viruses causing pneumonia/sickness); Leptospirosis (5-Way); Vibriosis; Calfhood vaccination for Brucellosis; Bovine Tuberculosis testing in the Modified Accredited Area (contact MDARD for additional information).

For information on animal health fair requirements visit: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mda/ExReq_225448_7.pdf

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Reduce exposure to mosquitoes to reduce risk of West Nile Virus

Macomb man dies of West Nile virus

(Grand Rapids, MI)—The recent changes in the weather have created ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes, increasing their population. The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) reminds residents to reduce their risk of West Nile Virus (WNV) by reducing their exposure to mosquitoes.
Although no human cases of the disease have yet been reported in Kent County, the Michigan Department of Community Health has identified a 48-year-old man from Macomb County as the state’s first probable case of West Nile Virus for 2011. The 48-year-old man was hospitalized earlier this month after showing symptoms and has since died. Because West Nile Virus is considered endemic in West Michigan, some level of infection in humans, birds, and mosquitoes are expected every year. County health officials say it is impossible to predict the number of WNV cases each year and that the months of August and September are when most human cases of WNV occur.
Since it is impossible to know how a person might react to the West Nile Virus, and whether or not any individual may become severely ill, KCHD recommends reducing exposure to mosquitoes to reduce the potential risk of WNV infection and illness. Specifically:
• Use insect repellent containing DEET. Apply insect repellent to exposed skin and spray clothing with repellents since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing. Insect repellents containing 10-35 percent DEET are generally effective (higher concentrations work longer but are not more effective); use a DEET concentration of 10 percent or less for children. Always read and follow manufacturers’ label directions when applying insect repellent as most are not recommended for use on children under two years of age.
• Stay indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening, when mosquitoes are active.
• Wear light-colored long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever you are outdoors, but especially in wooded or wetland areas.
• Make sure window and door screens are maintained in good condition to keep mosquitoes out of buildings and homes.
• Drain standing water around yards, decks, and other outdoor areas around the home. Flower pots, pet bowls, clogged rain gutters, swimming pool covers, discarded tires, buckets—anything that can hold standing water—is a site in which mosquitoes can lay eggs. Change water in bird baths every three to four days (twice a week).
• Avoid activities in areas where large numbers of mosquitoes are present.
West Nile Virus can produce a range of symptoms in humans. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms, though up to 20 percent may develop mild illness with symptoms including: fever, headache, body aches, rash and swollen lymph glands.
Approximately one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness that may be characterized by severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis, and rarely, death. Persons 55 and over have the highest risk of severe disease.
The Health Department also offers educational presentations on West Nile Virus. The presentations are free of charge and available to groups of 10 or more throughout the year by calling the Health Department at (616) 632-7297.

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