West Nile Virus Found In Dead Bird In FDL County
Officials with the Fond du Lac County Health Department say a dead crow was found in the County on July 10th and it has tested positive for West Nile virus. It is the first bird that tested positive for West Nile virus in Fond du Lac County since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1. Public Health Officer Kim Mueller says, “The positive bird means that residents of Fond du Lac County need to be more vigilant in their personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites.”
The Fond du Lac County Health Department 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, muscle ache, rash, and fatigue. Less than 1% 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. Older adults (age 50+) and those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of developing central nervous system illness that can be fatal.
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. For specific questions about West Nile virus surveillance in Fond du Lac, call the Fond du Lac County Health Department at 920-929-3085.
For more information on West Nile virus: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/communicable/ArboviralDiseases/WestNileVirus/Index.htm