Health officials: Bird test positive for West Nile Virus in Dane County
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)----A bird found in Dane County has tested positive for the West Nile virus. Health officials made the announcement on Monday afternoon.
Public Health - Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) said this is the first bird that has tested positive for West Nile virus in Wisconsin since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1.
Health officials said West Nile Virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds.
"West Nile virus seems to be here to stay, so the best way to avoid the disease is to prevent mosquito bites and eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes," says Janel Heinrich, Director of PHMDC.
80% of people who are infected with the West Nile virus do not get sick. Those who do become ill usually experience mild symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle ache, rash, and fatigue. Less than 1% of people infected with the virus get seriously ill with symptoms.
You can report sightings of sick/dead birds to the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline a 1-800-433-1610.
Copyright 2016: WMTV
PHMDC recommends the following to prevent mosquito bites:
Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes capable of transmitting West Nile virus are most active.
Apply insect repellant to clothing as well as exposed skin since mosquitoes may bite through clothing.
Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquito entry.
PHMDC recommends the following to help reduce potential breeding sites:
Properly dispose of items that hold water, such as tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or discarded tires.
Clean roof gutters and downspouts for proper drainage.
Turn over wheelbarrows, wading pools, boats, and canoes when not in use.
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 since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.
Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas.