Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus in Dane County

Photo courtesy: Franco Patrizia/MGN
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Mosquitoes found in Dane County have tested positive for West Nile virus.

This is the first positive test for West Nile virus in Dane County mosquitoes this year, according to Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) on Monday. They monitor mosquito traps across the county during summer months.

“Finding mosquitoes with West Nile virus is in our community means residents need to continue their efforts to prevent mosquito bites to protect themselves from getting the virus,” said John Hausbeck, PHMDC Environmental Health Supervisor.

The virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes get the virus by feeding on infected birds, and are then able to pass it on to other birds and mammals when they bite.

According to PHMDC, 80% of people who are infected with West Nile virus do not get sick. Those who do become sick usually experience mild symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, rash, and fatigue. Less than 1% of people infected with the virus get seriously sick with symptoms that include high fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation, mental confusion, tremors, confusion, paralysis, and coma.

Older adults and those with weakened immune systems are at greater risk of developing central nervous system illness that can be fatal.

To monitor for West Nile Virus in the community, the Wisconsin Division of Public Health asks that residents report sick or dead crows, blue jays, or ravens, to the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline at 1-800-433-1610.