State Confirms Two New West Nile Virus Cases

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

The Michigan Department of Community Health has confirmed two new West Nile virus (WNV) cases in Wayne County, bringing the total number of human cases in the state to three.

Both donors were likely infected in or near Wayne County and have been confirmed WNV positive, according to American Red Cross protocol.

Both donors – a 50-year-old Wayne County woman and a 30-year-old Wayne County woman – have since recovered. Like a previous blood donor case, both blood donations were excluded from distribution before it could present a risk, and never entered Michigan’s general supply.

In September, a 90-year-old Oakland County woman died with WNV. She also was the first confirmed human WNV case in Michigan this year. The woman was admitted to an Oakland County hospital on August 17 and died on September 4. Also in September, MDCH and officials from the American Red Cross Southeast Michigan Division announced that a Wayne County man was identified as the state’s first donor with WNV-infected blood. The man was not ill.

In comparison, Michigan had the second highest number of West Nile virus human cases in the nation in 2002, with 644 cases, including 51 deaths.

Michigan citizens are still advised to take measures to minimize exposure to mosquitoes, even with recently cooling weather. Some species of mosquitoes that can transmit the virus to people, seek out warmer environments, such as the interiors of homes.

Visit the State of Michigan’s web site on WNV at www.michigan.gov/wnv for complete information and resources.