Local health officials are reporting that Kalamazoo County, and other areas in southern Michigan, are in the migration pattern of a mosquito that can carry the ZIKA virus. The Aedes albopictus mosquito (Asian Tiger Mosquito) is not currently known to be present here yet, but the Health & Community Services Department’s Environmental Health Division is working with the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services Department’s (MDHHS) Mosquito Surveillance program.

Now through September, Kalamazoo County Environmental Health staff will be setting several mosquito traps throughout the county to identify any Asian Tiger Mosquitos that may be in the region and assess if they are carrying the ZIKA virus.

“Actively trapping and testing mosquitos is an effective way of providing early detection of the spread of the ZIKA virus,” - Vern Johnson, Environmental Health Division Chief

What Kalamazoo County is Doing:

  • Setting traps with the purpose of identifying the collected mosquitoes
  • Reporting information to the MHDDS and the CDC
  • Providing ZIKA prevention education at community events
  • Informing the community upon any important findings during our surveillance of any vector-borne diseases

What you can do to Prevent Mosquito Borne Diseases:

  • Empty and wash all containers that collect water (small pools, feeding bowls, open rain collection barrels, buckets, birdbaths, etc.) at least once a week and keep swimming pools properly treated to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds.
  • Keep trash containers property covered.
  • Use screens on your home windows to prevent mosquitoes and other pests from entering.
  • Use insect repellent with DEET or lemon-eucalyptus oil on skin and treat clothing with permethrin to repel biting insects. Always follow label directions to keep you and your family safe

For further information on what you can do, contact Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department-Environmental Health Division at 269-373-5210.