Update on West Nile cases in Harrison County

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The first human case of the West Nile virus for 2018 in Ottawa County has been documented. By Tuesday afternoon, the state department of health confirmed a second case in Harrison County.

On Aug. 27, it was reported that a Kent County man who was in his 80s died from West Nile virus. The health unit says this suggests mosquito populations capable of spreading West Nile virus are widespread.

Water quality supervisor Chris Schroeder says that now until the middle of September is the greatest risk to contract the virus, so you still need to make sure you're protected.

One in 150 patients will get a neuro invasive form of West Nile, which can lead to severe complications, or even death, so it is important for people to be aware of certain symptoms you'd want to have checked out.

Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn when mosquito activity is high.

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Since the reported cases, the Harrison County Mosquito Control Center has increased their efforts to help decrease the amount of mosquitoes and larvae in the area. MA residents are also being asked to treat large pools of water on their property with larvicide and to dump any standing water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

Eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, such as old tires, buckets and other receptacles, or refresh the water in bird baths, flowerpots and wading pools every couple days. Residents should also ensure that all doors and windows are tight fitting and screens are in place and intact.

With the number of reported cases rising in recent days, state and city health officials are urging people to take precautions to protect themselves and to mitigate the further spread of the disease.

Two cases were detected past year as well. To report a sick or dead crow, blue jay, or raven, please call the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline at 1-800-433-1610.

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