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West Nile Deaths Reported in Detroit

August 24, 2012

West Nile Virus has made it to Michigan and has already caused fatalities.  According to the Detroit News, there are three confirmed deaths, with more people infected:

In Michigan, there have been three deaths and 69 confirmed carriers so far — roughly double what it was last year and the season has barely started, officials said. Typically, West Nile cases are seen in late August and September. For the entire season last year, the state documented 34 West Nile virus cases and two fatalities.

“As of Friday morning, we have 47 confirmed cases plus an additional 22 blood donors,” said Angela Minicuci, public information officer for the Michigan Department of Community Health.

“We count blood donors separately; these are people who have the virus in their blood but show no symptoms. We detected the virus when they tried to donate blood. They were notified they had the virus and their blood was not added to the blood supply.”

The three people who have died from West Nile in Michigan were all over the age of 65, but the virus appears to be spreading in the Metro Detroit area.  Michigan’s unnaturally hot and dry summer apparently contributed to the increase in the type of mosquito that transmits the virus.
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