A dead crow…found in Manitowoc County late last month has tested positive for West Nile Virus. County Health Officer Amy Wergin says in a news release that the discovery on June 25th is the ‘first bird that tested positive in Manitowoc County since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1st.’ Wergin explained “this means residents of the county need to be more vigilant in their personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites.” West Nile Virus is ‘spread’ to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito..which acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds. She advises local residents “can take some simple steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites including:
*limit time spent outside at dawn & dusk, when mosquitos are most active.
*apply insect repellant to clothing as well as exposed skin since those insects may-
*change the water in bird-baths & pet dishes..at least every 3-days.
*trim tall grass, weeds and vines since mosquitos use those areas to rest during hot, daylight hours.
The majority or 80% of people infected with West Nile do ‘not’ get sick. Those who ‘do’ become ill usually experience ‘mild’ symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle ache, rash and fatigue. Elderly adults & those with compromised immune systems are at a greater risk of developing central nervous system illness than ‘can’ be fatal. The Wisconsin Division of Public Health will continue surveillance for West Nile Virus until the end of the mosquito season.