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‘Residents should be aware:’ Dead crow in Washington County tests positive for West Nile Virus

WASHINGTON COUNTY — A dead crow has tested positive for West Nile Virus in Washington County, according to officials.  This is the first common crow that tested positive for West Nile virus in the county since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1.

“The positive bird means that residents of Washington County need to be more vigilant in their personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites,” Kirsten Johnson, Health Officer said.

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

“Washington County residents should be aware of West Nile virus and take some simple steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” Johnson said. “West Nile virus is here to stay, so the best way to avoid the disease is to reduce exposure to and eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes.”

The Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department recommends the following:

  • Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Apply an EPA-registered insect repellant to exposed skin and clothing since mosquitoes may bite through clothing.
  • Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquito entry.
  • Properly dispose of items around your property 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 bird baths 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.