As if we don't already have enough to worry about! Between rising gas prices and inflation, supply chain shortages, constant Covid concerns, and something called Monkey Pox, we now have yet another illness to doge here in the Mitten.

On Thursday June 23, 2022 the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Bureau confirmed the first infected mosquito pools in the state.

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What is the Virus?

In Thursday's press release the Department of Health confirmed that mosquitoes in Bay County have tested positive for Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV). Though the virus can be found throughout the U.S., cases have been increasing throughout the Midwest.

How Does it Spread?

The MDHHS says mosquitoes become infected with JCV when they feed on animals such as deer that already have the virus in their blood. The virus is then passed on to humans or another animals via mosquito bites.

What Are the Symptoms?

Spread through bites from infected mosquitoes, JCV presents as flu-like symptoms-- like we don't already have enough of those going around right now with Covid! While most people do not become ill, it may take a day or two for the affects to arise. Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and in some rare cases encephalitis and meningitis.

How to Avoid JCV

Obviously, the best way to avoid JCV is to avoid being bitten by mosquitos. The MDHHS recommends:

  • Using insect repelling with DEET
  • Wearing light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outside
  • Ensuring all window and door screens are intact
  • Eliminating any standing water from outdoor areas

Says the MDHHS:

Every summer in Michigan, bites from mosquitoes carry the risk of spreading diseases to people and animals. JCV sickened six Michiganders in 2021. Also reported last year were 46 cases of (West Nile Virus) WNV and one case of (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) EEE. Seven of the WNV cases resulted in death.

It's never fun to be bitten by a mosquito, but with this added risk there's even more cause for concern! It may just be the fact that I live next to the Kalamazoo River, but it already appears to be a bad year for mosquitoes-- they're everywhere!

For more details head to: Michigan.gov/EmergingDiseases.

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