West Nile Virus

Local Health officials are urging the public to stay indoors or wear mosquito repellant. This comes after four adults in Kent County have tested positive for the West Nile virus and another is suspected of having the mosquito-borne disease.

The county's Health Department says it’s unclear where four adults in Kent County may have contracted the virus, but County Health Officer Adam London says with the record breaking heat wave in the Grand Rapids area, "mosquitoes are still quite active" and people should take precautions against bites.

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. 

Mosquito bite
CDC Public Health Image Library (PHIL) via Wikimedia | Public Domain / Wikimedia.org

Two Kent County residents have tested positive for West Nile virus. 

The Kent County Health Department says the two adults are unrelated, and it’s not clear where they contracted the disease.

Steve Kelso with the KCHD says West Nile is spread primarily through infected mosquitoes and is not contagious in human-to-human contact.

Kent County

The West Nile Virus has been found in mosquitoes in Kent County.  Health Department officials say they’ve found positive specimens of the virus in at least one zip code.  It includes parts of southeast Grand Rapid and East Grand Rapids. 

“I think they just need to be vigilant. That it’s in our community. But we need to protect ourselves.”

Kent County

The Kent County Health Department is once again setting traps for area mosquitoes in an effort to find out about the West Nile Virus.  Health officials report on their latest effort to protect residents from what can be a deadly disease. 

“Last year for the first time in Kent County since we’ve been doing the surveillance, we found no human case… so maybe some of these efforts are starting to pay off.”