West Nile virus found in Burlington bird

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Catherine W. Idzerda | September 21, 2016

BURLINGTON—A crow found in Burlington has tested positive for the West Nile virus, according to a news release from the Walworth County Health Department.
West Nile virus has been found in Walworth County in previous years.

West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes get the virus by feeding on infected birds.

“The West Nile virus seems to be here to stay, so the best way to avoid the disease is to reduce exposure to and eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes,” Walworth County Health Officer Janis Ellefsen said in the news release.

Recommendations include:

--Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.

--Apply insect repellent to clothing as well as exposed skin since mosquitoes may bite through clothing.

--Make sure window and door screens are in good repair.

--Get rid of standing water. That includes cleaning gutters; turning over wheelbarrows, wading pools and canoes and changing the water in birdbaths and pet dishes frequently.

--Cut tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.

West Nile virus infections in humans have been reported from June through October. However, most people reported becoming ill in August and September.

To report a sick or dead crow, blue jay or raven, please call the dead bird reporting hotline at 1-800-433-1610.

For more information on West Nile virus, visit the Wisconsin Department of Health

Services website at www.dhs.wisconsin.gov, or contact Walworth County Public Health at (262) 741-3140.

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