Mosquito batch collected in Mitchell Park in Brookfield tests positive for West Nile Virus

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WAUKESHA — Waukesha County Department of Parks and Land Use – Division of Environmental Health has been notified by the Wisconsin Division of Health Services that a mosquito batch collected in Mitchell Park in the city of Brookfield has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).

This test was conducted as part of the city of Brookfield’s mosquito and WNV surveillance, prevention and control program. These results are the first confirmation of a WNV positive test result in Waukesha County for 2015.

Mosquitoes get WNV by feeding on infected birds. WNV can then be spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.   The majority of people (80%) who are infected with WNV 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.

Waukesha County residents should be aware of WNV and take some simple steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites.  The best way to avoid the WNV disease is to reduce exposure to and eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

The Waukesha County Health and Human Services Department, Public Health Division recommends the following:

  • Maintain window screens in good repair to decrease indoor contact with mosquitoes.
  • Avoid being outside during times of high mosquito activity, specifically around dawn and dusk.
  • Wear light colored protective clothing such as long pants, loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and tuck pants in socks when outdoors.
  • When outdoors, consider using an effective mosquito repellant containing an active ingredient registered by the EPA, such as DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Do not provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes—remove containers, old tires and any objects where water can collect and mosquitoes can lay eggs.
  • Trim tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.

Waukesha County, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, will continue surveillance for WNV until the end of the mosquito season.

Now that a WNV positive result has been identified in the county, testing will be discontinued, but reports of sick or dead crows, blue jays, or ravens should still be reported.

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