West Nile virus threatens Labor Day celebrations

Sep 2, 2012

DETROIT (AP) - People celebrating Labor Day weekend outdoors in Michigan could be setting themselves up as the main course for feasting mosquitoes including the species known to carry the West Nile virus.

The disease has become the summer scourge across the country and the state where on Thursday an 87-year-old Kent County woman became its fifth fatality.

State health officials are working with local governments to educate residents on how to best avoid the disease after an unusually warm spring encouraged the early hatching of mosquitoes that transmit the virus.

Heavy rains could flush out stagnant pools where the bugs breed, but little is expected over the next few days.

Vestiges of a Hurricane Isaac are forecast to bring only a 10th-of-an-inch of rain beginning Sunday night to southern parts of Michigan.