The Daily Guardian –
Michigan Reports First Human Cases of Jamestown Canyon Virus in 2023
Michigan has recently reported its first two human cases of Jamestown Canyon Virus (JCV) in 2023. The cases were identified in Macomb County and Oakland County, raising concerns about the transmission of mosquito-borne viruses in the state.
JCV, along with other similar viruses, is primarily transmitted through mosquito bites. While most individuals infected with JCV do not display any symptoms, some may experience illness within two to 14 days after being bitten. Common symptoms of JCV include high fever, confusion, muscle weakness, headache, and fatigue. However, in rare cases, JCV can escalate into severe diseases like encephalitis and meningitis.
According to data from 2012 to 2021, Michigan had reported 10 cases of JCV. The following year, in 2022, the state detected 12 mosquito pools that tested positive for JCV, as well as one human case. This summer, JCV-positive mosquito pools have been discovered in Bay, Saginaw, and Washtenaw counties.
Moreover, West Nile Virus has also been detected in mosquitoes collected from Kalamazoo, Wayne, and Washtenaw counties. These findings have prompted health officials in Michigan to advise residents to use insect repellents and wear protective clothing to reduce the risk of mosquito bites.
The peak period for mosquito-borne illnesses is expected to be in August and September. In order to safeguard against these viruses, it is recommended to use EPA-registered insect repellents containing active ingredients like DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of lemon eucalyptus, Para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone. Wearing light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors is also advised. Maintaining appropriate window and door screening is another preventive measure.
Furthermore, in order to eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites, residents are encouraged to empty standing water from containers and consider hiring a mosquito control business. Larvicides can be utilized to kill mosquito larvae and pupae residing in standing water. These larvicides are available in various forms such as liquids, tablets, bits, pellets, granules, and briquettes. They can be applied to areas like buckets, rain barrels, fountains, gutters, and non-chlorinated swimming pools where mosquitoes lay eggs.
Using larvicides correctly does not pose harm to humans, pets, or the environment. Mosquito Dunks, which contain Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis), are a commonly used type of larvicide for controlling mosquito populations. They are safe and effective in preventing mosquito breeding, especially in areas where standing water cannot be covered, dumped, or removed.
As the cases of Jamestown Canyon Virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses continue to rise in Michigan, it is crucial for residents to remain vigilant and take appropriate measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites. By following recommended precautions and practicing mosquito control methods, individuals can significantly reduce the risk of contracting these diseases.
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