11 / 3
      12 / 4
      4 / -5

      West Nile Virus in the U.P.?

      The West Nile Virus has hit Michigan.

      According to the Center of Disease Control, as of Friday, there have been three deaths and 57 reported cases downstate--so far, none in the U.P.

      "It's the largest number of cases that we've seen in this time period since it was first detected in the U.S. It's reasonable to take some precautions, even though we haven't detected any cases here," said Marquette County Medical Director Theresa Frankovich.

      The CDC reports that across the country, there have been 1,100 reported cases and 41 deaths, with about 75 percent of cases in Texas.

      Even though there haven't been any reported cases in the U.P., the Marquette County Health Department says precaution is key.

      "You still should take general precautions in areas where you may be subject to mosquito bites. Whenever you get bit by any insect, there's potential for disease transmission in mosquitoes, particularly with West Nile Virus," said Director of Environmental Health Patrick Jacuzzo.

      Those precautions include using bug spray, avoiding being outside around dusk and dawn, wearing long sleeves and pants, and staying clear from stagnant water.

      The Health Department also says most people don't even know they have it because their body fights it off. They also say people who are most susceptible are the elderly and those with immune deficiencies.

      "When you look at this in perspective, we're talking about 1100 cases across the country. So, we're not seeing enormous numbers of people impacted at this point. I think it's just a good chance for us to remember that it's out there, to remember that it's another one of those illnesses where using prevention against mosquitoes is helpful," Frankovich said.

      To see the most up-to-date West Nile statistics, click here.