West Nile virus found in Oakland County resident

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

State health officials announced on Wednesday the West Nile virus has been detected in a blood donation from an Oakland County resident.

The donor has experienced no symptoms of illness, state officials said. Routine screening for the virus in blood donations helps ensure the safety of the blood supply in Michigan and in the United States. Donations that test positive do not enter the blood supply, said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

In a statement, Bagdasarian said mosquito season is not over and it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause a severe illness.

"Take precautions such as using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeve shirts and long pants when outdoors during times when mosquitoes are active," Bagdasarian said.

In 2021, the virus was detected in seven Michigan blood donors. It has been found in mosquitoes collected in Iosco, Arenac, Huron, Genesee and Kent counties as well as birds collected in Bay and Shiawassee counties, state officials said. 

No other human cases have been reported to date.