First bird of year tests positive for West Nile virus in Wis. - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

First bird of the year tests positive for West Nile virus in Wisconsin

Posted:
MADISON (WKOW) -- State and county health officials announce Wednesday that a bird tested positive for West Nile virus in Dane County. This is the first bird to test positive in Wisconsin this year.
 
Infected birds are an early warning that the virus is present in the area and people should be vigilant in protecting themselves against mosquito bites.
 
West Nile virus is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes feed on infected birds and then can potentially transmit the virus by biting other animals or people.
 
Follow these measures to help reduce exposure to mosquitoes and prevent West Nile virus infection:
  • Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Apply insect repellant to clothing as well as exposed skin because mosquitoes may bite through clothing.
  • Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquito entry.
  • Properly dispose of items that hold water, such as tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or discarded tires to prevent mosquito breeding. Turn over wheelbarrows, wading pools, boats and canoes when not in use.
  • Clean roof gutters and downspouts for proper drainage.
  • Change the water in birdbaths and pet dishes at least every three days.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs; drain water from pool covers.
  • Trim tall grass, weeds and vines because mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.
  • Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas.

Experts say the chances of a person becoming infected with the West Nile virus are very low. Most infected people will not have any symptoms.

Statewide surveillance activities for West Nile virus began May 1st. People who find a dead bird in their yard or who have a question about a dead bird should call the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline at 1-800-433-1610.
 
For more information on West Nile virus, click here. 
 
Also, click here for more information.
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