Brown County bird tests positive for West Nile Virus

Posted: 8:45 PM, Aug 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-08 21:45:13-04
Brown County bird tests positive for West Nile Virus

Brown County health officials report a dead bird found in Brown County has tested positive for West Nile virus.

According to a news release from the county, this is the first bird to test positive for West Nile virus in Brown County since they’ve been monitoring for the mosquito-transmitted virus since May.

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

To keep you and your family safe, the health departments recommend the following:

* Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
* Apply insect repellent 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 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.

Health leaders say 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 and those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of developing central nervous system illness that can be deadly.