Suspected West Nile Virus detected in Kent Co.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – The first suspected case of West Nile Virus has been detected in Kent County this summer, according to the Kent County Health Department.

KCHD officials said in a release Thursday that preliminary tests show a man in his 60s contracted the virus in August. He has since been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

The Michigan Department of Community Health gave the KCHD a grant this year to increase mosquito surveillance, the release said. As a result, health department employees have been catching and testing mosquitoes for West Nile, and treating areas where the virus is detected.

There are ways to protect yourself from West Nile. The KCHD released the following tips:

  • Get rid of standing water from areas around your home like birdbaths, flower pots, buckets and swimming pool covers at least once a week.
  • Avoid wooded areas and swampy areas.
  • Apply insect repellant to your skin and clothing when outside. Don’t spray your face with the repellent; instead, apply it by hand.
  • Apply insect repellant to children by putting it on your hands first and then on the child. Don’t use products with oil of lemon eucalyptus on kids under age three.
  • Wash off the repellant after going back indoors and wash clothing sprayed with repellant before wearing it again.

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On the web:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: West Nile Virus

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