West Nile virus hits Michigan: 8 human cases, 1 death

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Health officials say West Nile virus has sickened eight people in Michigan, including one person who has died.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says three counties have reported human cases of West Nile virus, including one case each in Kent and Berrien counties. An additional five cases were reported in Wayne County, including one death linked to West Nile virus. Oakland County had one case.

Health officials say all but one of the patients have been hospitalized with neurologic disease, which is among the most severe symptoms of West Nile virus.  

Additionally, three blood donors in Michigan had West Nile virus detected in their blood.

Kent County health officials earlier this month warned that West Nile virus would likely be prevalent this year, after seeing an "unusually high" number of mosquitoes test positive for the virus. MDHHS says mosquitoes from 74 pools in eight counties have tested positive for West Nile virus; the Kent County Health Department said 26 percent of the Culex mosquitoes it captured were carrying West Nile.

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