MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin health officials have confirmed the first cases of West Nile virus in animals in the state this year.
State and county health officials said Wednesday that two birds tested positive for the virus -- one in Dane County and the other in Waupaca County.
Officials say infected birds are an early warning that West Nile virus is present in the area. They're urging people to protect themselves against mosquito bites.
West Nile virus is spread to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected with the virus by feeding on infected birds.
Symptoms may begin three to 15 days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito.
In 2010, there were two human cases of West Nile virus in Wisconsin.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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