And so it begins. Mosquito season.

Technically it isn't even summer yet and we have our first reported case of West Nile Virus in Michigan. Luckily, it's not on a human so health officials from the Department of Health & Human Services are reminding residents to take precautions to protect themselves.

In a press release from MDHHS, the virus was detected in a captive hawk in Lapeer County, about 20 minutes from Flint.

WNV isn't the only thing Michiganders need to be concerned about. Last year, the state saw an outbreak of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) which ended up infecting 50 animals, 10 humans, and killing six. The virus normally begins to spread in late summer. Both EEE and West Nile Virus are transferred through a mosquito bite. Mosquitoes become infected with it "by feeding on an infected bird." Gross.

The MDHHS recommends taking the following steps this summer to avoid getting bit:

  • Use insect repellent containing DEET
  • Wear shoes & socks, light-colored long pants, and a long-sleeve when outdoors
  • Get rid of any standing water i.e. puddle -- these are prime breeding spots for mosquitoes
  • Make sure doors and windows are tightly secured with a screen
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