Bird in Dodge County tests positive for West Nile virus
MADISON -- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced a dead crow found in Dodge County has tested positive for West Nile virus. The state organization says this is the first bird to test positive for the virus in Wisconsin this year.
West Nile is spread to people through the bite of infected mosquitoes, and those mosquitoes become infected by feeding on infected birds. The Department of Health Services has been monitoring the spread of West Nile since 2001.
The Department of Health Services says the infection rate for West Nile is low, and most people who become infected don't show any symptoms. Those who do show symptoms experience fever, headache, body aches, and swollen lymph glands that last a few days. The elderly and people with comprised immune systems are at risk for severe disease caused by the virus.
Measures to help decrease exposure to mosquitoes and prevent West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne infections include:
- Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Apply insect repellent to clothing as well as exposed skin.
- Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquito entry.
- Reduce mosquito breeding sites by properly disposing 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 so they will not collect water.
- 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.