- Associated Press - Friday, May 31, 2013

Lansing — A wild turkey from Gratiot County in mid-Michigan has tested positive for the West Nile virus.

The state Department of Community Health says in a release Friday that the positive testing was confirmed by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population & Animal Health.

So far, the turkey is the first animal in the state to test positive this year for the disease.

Mosquitoes can carry and transmit the virus which was responsible for 202 illnesses and 17 deaths last year in Michigan.

Nationally, more than 5,600 West Nile virus cases and 286 deaths were reported last year to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Officials suggest people use insect repellent when outdoors and install window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of homes.

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