First specimen case of West Nile Virus detected in Kent County

(Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

KENT COUNTY, Mich. — The Kent County Health Department has discovered the first evidence of West Nile Virus in the county from a pool of mosquitoes that tested positive for the virus.

The specimen were discovered in the City of Grand Rapids in one of the department’s mosquito traps.

“The fact that we have found West Nile in only one area does not mean that it is confined to that ZIP code,” says Adam London, Administrative Health Officer with KCHD. “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.”

There are 11 traps total placed throughout the county as a project to help prevent outbreaks of illnesses spread through mosquitoes.

At this time only this specific pool has tested positive and no human cases have been reported.

To help prevent the spread of this disease the health department recommends that people wear repellant containing 10 to 35 percent DEET, to stay indoors in the evening hours, to wear light colored clothes and to remove and eliminate standing water.