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West Nile Virus Confirmed in Birds in Waukesha County

Three crows tested positive for the disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes. One person in Wisconsin has reportedly been infected by the virus.

Three crows in Waukesha County have tested positive for West Nile Virus, officials said Tuesday.

The three birds were found last month in New Berlin, City of Pewaukee and the Town of Brookfield.

The Wisconsin Division of Health recently informed Waukesha County officials about the crows having received the mosquito-transmitted virus. Surveillance began May 1, according to a news release from Waukesha County.

Waukesha County will continue surveillance for the virus until the end of mosquito season. Testing will be discontinued, but reports of sick or dead crows, blue jays or ravens should still be reported.

To report a sick or dead crow, blue jay, or raven, please call the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline at 1-800-433-1610.

The positive results also means that residents of Waukesha County need to be more vigilant in their personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites, the news release said. West Nile Virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes get the virus by feeding on infected birds.

The recommends the following:

  • Maintain window screens in good repair to decrease indoor contact with mosquitoes
  • Avoid being outside during times of high mosquito activity, specifically around dawn and dusk
  • Wear light colored protective clothing such as long pants, loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and tuck pants in socks when outdoors
  • When outdoors, consider using an effective mosquito repellant containing an active ingredient registered by the EPA, such as DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • Do not provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes—remove containers, old tires and any objects where water can collect and mosquitoes can lay eggs

Eighty percent of people infected with West Nile Virus do not get sick, states the news release.

Those who do become ill usually experience mild symptoms such as fever, headache, or rash. Less than 1 percent of people infected with the virus get seriously ill.

However, Kane County, IL, has recently experienced A 16-year-old girl has recovered from the illness, but a 64-year-old Illinois man died from the disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in August that reported cases of West Nile Virus are at an all-time high.

“The 1118 cases reported thus far in 2012 is the highest number of West Nile virus disease cases reported to CDC through the third week in August since West Nile virus was first detected in the United States in 1999,” the CDC reported.

Wisconsin had one reported case of a human being infected by the virus this year as of Aug. 28, according to the CDC.

For more information, you can visit the United States Geological Survey website at: http://diseasemaps.usgs.gov/wnv_wi_human.html or http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/communicable/ArboviralDiseases/WestNileVirus/Index.htm

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