Traverse City Record-Eagle

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August 21, 2012

Another View: Take West Nile seriously

Michigan recorded its first death in 2012 from the West Nile virus — an elderly woman in Washtenaw County. In Kent County, there is one confirmed case of the virus in a 68-year-old man and two highly probably cases.

The Associated Press is reporting aerial spraying over some parts of Texas, a direct response to the CDC-reported 336 cases of the virus and 14 deaths there as of Tuesday.

In Midland County, five crows and four mosquito samples collected earlier this month have tested positive for West Nile virus, indicating a rise in virus activity. Most of the positive collections were from the northeast areas of Midland, and county mosquito control crews have been concentrating on the areas where the virus has been found.

Officials have said an unusually warm spring encouraged the early hatching of the mosquitoes that transmit the virus.

While the common person's reaction to talk of the virus may have been ho-hum in the past, now is the time to take notice and precaution.

The Centers for Disease Control has said the best way to avoid getting West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites. Using insect repellents when you go outdoors, wear long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk, install or repair screens on windows and doors, and empty standing water from items outside your home to keep the insects away.

Midland Daily News

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