West Nile Virus detected in Saginaw

Mid-Michigan reports its first case of West Nile Virus.

Saginaw officials say they're surprised about the early arrival of the disease.

Officials surprised because conditions have not been ideal for the mosquito that transmits West Nile Virus.

"We really weren't thinking we'd get anything til July so getting it this early was a surprise we thought it be later until West Nile started ramping up in the county," said Randy Knepper, director of the Saginaw County Mosquito Abatement Commission.

Earlier this week, a dead crow in the northern end of Saginaw tested positive for the virus tallying the 12th consecutive year the county has reported West Nile.

"One of the things we've seen that's kind of odd is we're getting a lot more 'Culex mosquitoes' a lot earlier this year," said Knepper.

The reason for the early arrival of the culex mosquito that transmits West Nile is not known.

Meantime, the 55-person crew at the Saginaw County Mosquito Abatement Commission is busy controlling the local mosquito population.

"We hope with mosquitos and birds we can monitor it and supress mosquito population so we don't have any human cases."

No human cases have been reported in Saginaw.

Officials caution people to be on the lookout for crows or bluejays that have been dead for less than 24 hours.

In addition, popular breeding grounds for mosquitos include standing water and old tires.

"Tires bird bath fishing boat or you got a flooded ditch water in the woods heavy thunderstorm and water in the yard call us and we can inspect the water and make applications to control larvae before they become biting adults," said Knepper.

You can reach the commission at (989) 755-5751.