Marinette County bird tests positive for West Nile virus

MARINETTE, Wis. — Marinette County Public Health reports a dead crow found in the county has tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first bird that tested positive for West Nile virus in Marinette County since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1.

“The positive bird means that residents of Marinette County need to be more vigilant in their personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites,” said Molly Bonjean, health officer.

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

“Marinette County residents should be aware of West Nile virus and take some simple steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” Bonjean 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.”

Marinette County Public Health recommends the following:

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

Apply an insect repellant with DEET, IR3535, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to exposed skin and clothing.

Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquito entry.

Prevent mosquitoes from breeding by removing stagnant water from items around your property, such as tin cans, plastic containers, flower pots, discarded tires, roof gutters, and downspouts.

Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas, and trim tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.

The majority of people –80 percent — who are infected with West Nile virus do not get sick. Those who do become ill usually experience mild symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle ache, rash, and fatigue. Less than 1 percent of people infected with the virus get seriously ill with symptoms that include high fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation, mental confusion, tremors, confusion, paralysis, and coma.

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