Steps to avoid mosquitos, West Nile Virus - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Steps to avoid mosquitos, West Nile Virus

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MADISON (WKOW)— Mosquito season is here and West Nile Virus has been found in a bird in Dane County.

“We've had West Nile here in the Madison, Dane County area for, ever since 2003,” said John Hausbeck, a supervisor of environmental health services for the county.

So finding the virus in a crow last week wasn't a big surprise, but it does mean West Nile is in the area.

The virus isn't very common in humans in the area, with just four cases last year and five the year before. Still, you should try avoid bites. You should also limit time outdoors around dusk and dawn, when mosquitos are most common and use bug spray.

Campers who spent Friday night at Lake Farm campgrounds and say they definitely noticed mosquito season is here.

“Well, they were pretty bad last night, with the amount of rain we've had this Spring, they're bad,” said Tom Brugger, one of the campers.

Stagnate water attracts the bugs. So if you have things like a bird bath or kids pool, you should change the water every five days.

“West Nile virus mosquito is a container breeder,” Hausbeck said. “So if you have areas of standing water on your property, those are going to be great places for them to breed.”

Hausbeck says whether or not this is a bad mosquito season depends on the weather. But even if things dry out, everyone should still be cautious.

“When those numbers drop off because we're having a dry summer or what not, we still have the West Nile Virus mosquito flying around,” Hausbeck said. “So that occasional bite could still be a risk so you still have to be vigilant.”

The county tracks the number of dead birds so they can determine when virus activity is ramping up. You should report any dead birds to the dead bird hotline at 1-800-433-1610.

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