MDHHS: First Mosquito-Borne Virus of 2022 Found in Michigan Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes caught in Bay County have tested positive for the Jamestown Canyon Virus, a virus that can cause illness or, in rare cases, severe illnesses such as encephalitis and meningitis.

These are the first infected mosquito pools detected for this year, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said in a release Thursday.

“It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause a severe illness,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “We urge Michiganders to take precautions such as using an EPA-registered insect repellent when outdoors, avoiding areas where mosquitoes are present if possible, and wearing clothing to cover arms and legs to prevent bites.”

JCV is spread to people through bites from infected mosquitoes, who become infected when they feed on deer and other animals that have the virus in their blood. Most cases happen between late-spring through mid-fall, but cases have been increasing in the Midwest.

Illness can develop in two days after a bite from an infected mosquito, and symptoms include fever, headache and fatigue, according to the MDHHS.

People can stay healthy by using the following strategies from the MDHHS to protect themselves and their families:

  • Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other EPA-approved products to exposed skin or clothing. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
  • Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
  • Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs.

For more information from the MDHHS, click here.