West Nile virus found in Michigan blood donation

Mosquitoes (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — Health officials in Oakland County say donated blood has tested positive for the West Nile virus.

The Detroit News reports Monday that the positive test was discovered during routine testing by the American Red Cross.

A case of West Nile virus was found in July in nearby Livingston County.

Earlier this month, mosquitoes in the 49506 zip code — which includes parts of southeast Grand Rapids and East Grand Rapids — tested positive for the West Nile virus. However, no human cases have been reported in Kent County so far this year.

Mosquitoes pick up the virus from infected birds and then pass it to people. The elderly and people with a weak immune system are considered to be at greatest risk.

Oakland County Health Division health officer Kathy Forzley says “it is important that everyone protect themselves from mosquito bites — especially those 50 and older who are more susceptible to severe” symptoms.

Many people who are infected won’t develop any symptoms, which can include body aches, joint pain and diarrhea.

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Information from: The Detroit News

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