First bird tests positive for West Nile in Wisconsin - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

First bird tests positive for West Nile in Wisconsin

Posted:

MADISON (WKOW) --- A dead crow in Washington County has tested positive for West Nile virus.

According to state and county health officials, this bird is the first positive case in Wisconsin this year.

While few mosquitos carry the virus, infected birds do prove the virus is present in the area.

That means, people should be protecting themselves.

In 2002, the state had it's first human infection case, as well as 51 other cases.

DUring 2012, Wisconsin had the highest annual cases reported, with 57 cases.

Health officials say there are numerous ways to decrease your risk of exposure.

  • Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Apply insect repellant 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.

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.

Click here for more information on West Nile.

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