Department (KCHD) has revealed three presumptive positive instances of mosquitoes carrying West
Nile Virus in Kent County. The discovery comes after testing pools of mosquito remains that were
trapped in the 49504 and 49525 ZIP Codes. It is important to note that these are not human cases.
“Discovering these cases in mosquitoes should serve as a reminder to everyone who lives in West
Michigan that West Nile Virus season is upon us,” says Brendan Earl, Supervising Sanitarian at KCHD.
“It is important for people to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites as much as possible.”
Since there is no vaccine or cure for West Nile the best treatment is prevention. KCHD recommends
wearing a mosquito repellant that contains 10 – 35% DEET, wearing light colored clothing and staying
indoors during dusk. You can help stop mosquitoes from breeding by removing or refreshing water in
bird baths, children’s wading pools, water bowls for your pets. Empty other small containers that can
collect water. in your yard and keeping your lawn and shrubs trimmed. More information about
prevention can be found here https://www.accesskent.com/Health/Environmental/vector.htm.
West Nile Virus is spread primarily by infected Culex mosquitoes. Only about 20% of the people
infected will notice symptoms that may include headache, body aches, joint pains and fatigue. Most
people with this type of West Nile virus completely recover, but fatigue may last for weeks or even
months. About 1 in 150 people infected develop severe illness that can affect the central nervous
system. Recovery from this type of West Nile virus may take several months. Some damage to the
central nervous system can be permanent. In rare instances the disease can lead to death.