Oakland: August 5, 2015:The people spending time outdoors need to be cautious in the southeast Oakland County, as mosquitoes have tested positive for the fatal West Nile Virus.
Periodically the county traps mosquitoes and tests them for the virus. The virus can prompt mild sickness to death in some cases; easy targets are the elderly people and those with compromised immune systems.
According to the data compiled by the state mosquitoes in Kent County near Grand Rapids also have tested positive for the virus.
“The most effective way to protect yourself and your family against West Nile Virus is to take precautions against mosquito bites,” said Kathy Forzley of the Oakland County Health Division.
The health division is advising the residents to wear insect repellent and long sleeves and pants to minimize contact with the mosquitoes.
Other prevention techniques provided to the residents are to drain water from places such as gutters and downspouts, flowerpots, barrels and pool covers; as mosquitoes hatch in standing water. They have also recommended avoiding shaded areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.
As shared by Tony Drautz, an administrator with the Health Division, Oakland County uses special traps to capture mosquitoes for testing.
The traps hang from ropes in trees and have an LED light with a funnel beneath it. Mosquitoes are attracted to lights, and a battery-operated fan pushes them into the tube that is attached to the net. The trapped mosquitoes are taken to the lab to test for the virus.
In 2014, 2025 cases were reported including 97 deaths; source federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.