Michigan blood donor tests positive for West Nile Virus

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PONTIAC, Mich. (WLNS) – A Michigan resident who donated blood to the American Red Cross tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The Oakland County Health Division was notified by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services of the positive test after the American Red Cross discovered it during routine testing.

The American Red Cross consistently tests blood donations for a large range of infectious diseases, including mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile Virus.

“Mosquitos are present until temperatures are consistently below 50 degrees,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County. “Continue to use insect repellent and take preventive measures to prevent disease and avoid mosquito bites.”

This is the first blood donation in 2019 that has tested positive for West Nile Virus in Oakland County.

Mosquitoes are infected with West Nile Virus by biting an infected bird. The virus can then be spread to humans who get bit by an infected mosquito.

This can cause inflammation and swelling of the brain to develop in some individuals.

People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop serious and potentially life-threatening symptoms of West Nile Virus if they do get sick.

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