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Woman diagnosed with West Nile virus in Berrien Co.

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BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. — A woman in Berrien County has been diagnosed with the West Nile virus, the first confirmed human case in West Michigan in 2018.

The Berrien County Health Department said Thursday that the woman became ill and showed symptoms of the virus in late July.

West Nile is transmitted through mosquito bites.  Officials says most people who contract the virus have no clinical symptoms, but some may become sick three to 15 days after being bitten.

West Nile is especially dangerous to people 60 years and older, as serious complications can develop.

The Berrien County Health Department says this is the first confirmed case of the virus in the county this year. At least one other human case has been reported in Michigan.  State officials said July 31 that a blood donor in Sanilac County tested positive for the virus but did not report any illness.

Health officials say the best ways to prevent West Nile are: using insect repellents containing DEET, emptying standing water from containers around your home, wearing long sleeves and pants from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active and repairing damaged screens on windows and doors.

More information about West Nile is available here. 

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