West Nile Virus, a mosquito-born infection, was found by the Kent County Health Dept. in the 49506 area code, which includes East Grand Rapids.
The virus is spread through mosquitos, which get them from biting a bird that has the virus in its blood.
The City has purchased tablets designed to keep mosquitos from hatching that will be placed in our storm sewer catch basins. Public works will be placing these in our storm sewer catch basins early next week. Crews will also place them in storm water retention basins like the Beechwood and Arundel areas.
The Health Dept. encourages the following actions to prevent West Nile Virus: • Wear bug spray, lotion or gel with DEET (N, N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) when you go outdoors.• Wear light-colored clothing since mosquitoes like dark colors• Put mosquito netting over infant carriers and strollers when infants are outdoors.• Do not wear strong smelling perfumes or use strong smelling shampoos and hair sprays.• You may want to stay indoors at dawn, dusk and during the early evening. These are the times when mosquitoes are most likely to bite you. Also, try to stay away from activities in areas where there are a lot of mosquitoes.• Make sure that your window and door screens do not have any holes where mosquitoes can get in to the house.
Try to lower the number of mosquito breeding areas around your home:• Keep your lawn and shrubs cut.• Change the water in your birdbath twice a week.• Empty and clean children’s wading pools a couple times a week.• Empty and refill pet water bowls every day.• Cover trash bins to keep them from filling with water.• Get rid of things in your yard that can collect water (like jars, bottles, old tires, etc.).• Clean leaves and sticks out of eaves troughs/rain gutters and check them often.• Store boats and canoes upside down so they do not collect and hold rain water.• Drain or fill any low areas in your yard where water stands for five or more days