The West Nile Virus has made its way to West Michigan. According to a press release by the Kent County Health Department, the discovery of the West Nile Virus in Grand Rapids is not a human case, but rather, came from a massive mosquito surveillance project conducted by the environmental health division. The positive sample was found in a pool of tested mosquitos collected from Grand Rapids’ 49507 zip code.
The Kent County Health Department has been testing mosquitos since last June. In addition to the 49507 neighborhood, 11 traps were strategically placed throughout the county in area codes 49503, 49504 and 49519, however, no other positive specimens have been found.
Still, the Kent County Health Department is warning residents in those area codes to be safe.
“We expect West Nile to be present to some degree until the first frost. We want people to be aware that they can greatly reduce their own risks by taking some simple precautions. This finding is significant because this is our first alert to the presence of West Nile as it begins to surface at this time of the year,” Administrative Health Officer with the Kent County Health Department Adam London said in a statement.
The West Nile Virus can be deadly to some, especially those with a weakened immune system. The Health Department recommends wearing a mosquito repellant that contains 10-35 percent DEET, wearing light colored clothing, and staying indoors during dusk.