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West Nile Virus Confirmed In Kalamazoo

Strutting male wild turkey displaying in the spring mating season.

One turkey and two crows found with West Nile Virus in Kalamazoo and Barry counties this week.  Should we worry?  Yes.  Here’s why.

Just last year the West Nile virus proved to be deadly in Michigan.  The first case of a person with West Nile in Kalamazoo County in 2016 was in September.  According to WWMT we’re off to an early start this year,

The West Nile virus was connected to 43 illnesses and three deaths in Michigan during 2016. The disease is off to an early start for 2017 after activity is confirmed in three counties.  Researchers at Michigan State University confirmed the state’s first West Nile virus activity in Barry, Kalamazoo, and Saginaw County birds. A mild winter and a wet spring could be the culprits, but prevention is the key.


The has the following tips to reduce your chance of getting infected:

  • Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants from dusk through dawn when many mosquitoes are most active.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors. If you have it, use your air conditioning.
  • Help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home. Empty standing water from containers such as flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths.

Reporting sick or dead birds in Michigan can also help slow the spread of West Nile.  You can report sick or dead birds by clicking here.


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