Be cautious about West Nile
By Diane Brown / Facilities and Operations
While the chances of contracting West Nile virus are small, community
health professionals and pest management experts say people should
continue to be cautious with their outdoor activities.
Were urging people at U-M to follow the suggestions
of the Michigan Department of Community Health, says Dale
Hodgson, U-Ms pest management specialist. These include
avoiding the outdoors in the morning and evening, when mosquitoes
are active; wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants outside;
and applying an insect repellent containing DEET on exposed skin.
Many recent news headlines have warned people about the spread
of the West Nile virus into Michigan. Health officials have confirmed
dead crows found in several southeast Michigan communities tested
positive for the virus, which is spread by mosquitoes that feed
on infected birds and then bite people.
Community health professionals note that the chances anyone will
become severely ill from one mosquito bite are extremely small.
Even in areas where mosquitoes do carry the virus, fewer than 1
percent of the mosquitoes are infected, and fewer than 1 percent
of people who are bitten and become infected with the virus will
develop severe illness. It cannot be spread person-to-person or
Pest management staff members are available 24 hours a day, seven
days a week by calling Plant Operations Services at (734) 647-2059.
They can retrieve any dead crows found on campus and will report
them to the Washtenaw County Health Departments Communicable
Homeowners can contact the Michigan Department of Community Health
West Nile virus Hotline at (888) 668-0869 if they encounter dead
Additional information regarding the symptoms of infection, disease
monitoring and treatment can be found on Web sites for the University
Health Service at www.uhs.umich.edu/uhs/whatsup/west_nile_virus.html,
the Washtenaw County Health Department at http://www.co.washtenaw.mi.us/DEPTS/eis/eiswestnile
and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov.