Two dead crows found in Kenosha County have West Nile virus

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Kenosha –  The Kenosha County Division of Health reports that two dead crows found in Kenosha County on August 1 and 9 have tested positive for West Nile virus. These are the first birds testing positive for West Nile virus in Kenosha County since surveillance for  the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1.

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

The Kenosha County Division of Health recommends the following:

  • Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Apply insect repellant to clothing as well as exposed skin since mosquitoes may bite through clothing.
  • Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquito entry.
  • Properly dispose 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.
  • 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.

The majority of people (80%) who are infected with West Nile Virus do not get sick. Those who do become ill usually experience mild symptoms such as fever, headache, or rash. Less than 1% of people infected with the virus get seriously ill. Older adults (age 50+) and those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of developing severe disease.

The Department of Health Services has monitored the spread of West Nile virus since 2001 among wild birds, horses, mosquitoes, and people. In 2002, the state documented its first human infections, with 52 human cases. In 2011, there were three human cases of West Nile virus.

The Wisconsin Division of Public Health will continue surveillance for West Nile virus until the end of the mosquito season.

To report a sick or dead crow, blue jay, or raven, please call the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline at 1-800-433-1610.

CLICK HERE for additional details on West Nile virus via the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website.

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