Deadly Mosquito-Borne Virus Found In Michigan

Aedes aegypti

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A deadly virus, which is spread through mosquitos, has been found in Michigan, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The Jamestown Canyon Virus (JCV) is spread through bites from mosquitos that have fed on deer and other animals infected with the virus. It was recently found in a pool of mosquitos that was collected in Bay County. This is the first infected mosquito that has been found this year. Last year, six people contracted the virus in Michigan. Luckily, there has not been a confirmed case of someone contracting the virus in Michigan this year.

Symptoms of JCV include fever, headache and fatigue and can develop within a few days to two weeks following the bit. Symptoms can also escalate into severe diseases like encephalitis and meningitis in the brain in spinal cord. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine that can prevent the virus or medicines to treat it, so the best way to protect yourself is to prevent mosquito bites.

“It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause a severe illness,” Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan's chief medical executive, said (via the Detroit Free Press). “We urge Michiganders to take precautions such as using an EPA-registered insect repellent when outdoors, avoiding areas where mosquitoes are present if possible, and wearing clothing to cover arms and legs to prevent bites.”

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