Health officials with the state of Michigan have confirmed eight different cases of West Nile virus so far this year, which even killed one person.

The report was released today in the state's weekly summary for West Nile. The eight come from the following counties:

  • 5 - Wayne
  • 1 - Oakland
  • 1 - Kent
  • 1 - Berrien

The person who died was from Wayne County. In addition to the already eight cases, three blood donors were found to be infected as well.

And not only is it affecting humans but birds, too. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) found 66 birds, in 21 counties [including Kent, Ottawa & Kalamazoo], carrying the virus.

Over 3,000 mosquito pools were tested for the virus and 74 of them came back positive for West Nile.

According to MDHHS, August is the peak month for WNV and the state has been experiencing an outbreak every summer since 2002.

Urban areas in Southeastern Lower Michigan (Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties) and Western Lower Michigan (Kent county) have historically seen the most West Nile virus activity.

There is no cure for the virus and most people who become infected don't show symptoms  however there are steps you can take to protect yourself such as:

  • Use insect repellents containing DEET
  • Wear long sleeves and pants from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active
  • Use screens on windows and doors
  • Remove standing water in or outside of your home. This is where mosquitoes breed.

In 2017, 40 Michigan residents were diagnosed with West Nile Virus.