2 dead crows found in Sauk Co. test positive for West Nile Virus

Posted Tuesday, August 13, 2013 --- 5:00 p.m.

Health officials say two dead crows found in Sauk Co. have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The birds were tested Friday, August 9th.

The following information on the West Nile Virus was provided by the Sauk Co. Health Department:

West Nile Virus is carried by mosquitoes and can be transferred to humans when they are bitten by a mosquito. Although most people infected with the virus do not experience any signs or symptoms, some people may become ill. Mild symptoms of fever, headache, fatigue, muscle ache and photophobia generally go away on their own. But severe signs and symptoms, such as a severe headache, fever, disorientation or sudden weakness require immediate medical attention.

The Sauk County Health Department participates in West Nile surveillance activities year round and begins the collection of dead birds on May 1st of each year. Because the virus cycles between birds and mosquitoes in nature, birds are monitored as an early warning detection system. State and local health officials use this information to alert citizens to protect themselves from mosquito bites and to enhance environmental control to reduce mosquitoes.

The virus is most prevalent in late summer when mosquito populations are at their highest. People can reduce the risk of contracting West Nile by limiting time in mosquito habitat, applying insect repellent when outdoors, and properly screening windows into their homes.

The type of mosquito that carries West Nile thrives in stagnant water, so it is important to remove containers filled with water on your property. These containers include item such as old tires, gutters, bird baths, ect.

You can help by reporting dead birds to the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline at 800-433-1610. The line is opened until October 31st of this year. Any sick or dead bird sighting can be reported to the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline and if birds meet the criteria for testing (crows, ravens, and blue jays) you will be given further direction on how to proceed.

*If you think you have WNV, contact your physician.


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