Recently officials have been warning people to cancel outdoor activities due to mosquito-borne illnesses including Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) which can be deadly and West Nile. The problem is getting serious enough, that state officials are expanding the area that they will be aerial spraying for mosquitos and aren't letting communities opt out of the treatment.

After the year we’ve had, I wonder how many people are taking the mosquito warnings seriously? I really didn’t think West Nile was that dangerous - I thought it just made you fatigued for a couple of weeks - but then I saw the story on WOOD TV8 about Barton Deiters being hospitalized with West Nile.

According to WOOD TV8, Barton has been in the hospital and on a ventilator for two weeks and was recently moved to Ann Arbor to the University of Michigan hospital because he also came down with an unknown infection.

WOOD TV8 says that currently there are 10 cases of West Nile in Michigan and 2 cases here in Kent County.  They also say that according to the CDC 8 out of 10 people don’t experience any symptoms if they are infected with West Nile. Obviously that has not been the case for Barton Deiters, who is a West Michigan native and has been with WOOD TV8 since 2016. Before joining the tv station, he spent 16 years at MLive as a reporter.

Mosquito repellent, long sleeve shirts, and pants, as well as treating outside areas for mosquitos are how you keep West Nile at bay, WOOD TV8 reports.

If you are bit by a mosquito with West Nile and are in the small percentage of people who have a serious reaction WOOD TV8 says symptoms you could experience include headaches, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, as well as possible numbness, paralysis, and even coma.

Our thoughts go out to Barton, as there is no cure for West Nile and as his wife told WOOD TV8, all they can do right now Is treat the individual symptoms. As his wife said on Facebook, she knows that Barton would want his story shared, to encourage others to "take precautions to protect themselves from this serious and deadly disease."

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