Bird with West Nile virus found in Shawano County - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Bird with West Nile virus found in Shawano County

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WAUSAU (WAOW) - A dead crow in Shawano County has tested positive for the mosquito-transmitted West Nile virus, health officials said Monday. The bird was found July 26.

The discovery means people need to be more vigilant in protecting themselves against mosquito bites, said Judith Sengstock, health officer for Shawano-Menominee counties.

"The best way to avoid the disease is to reduce exposure to and eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes," she said in a statement.

West Nile virus infects humans through bites of an infected mosquito, who acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds, experts said.

About 80 percent of people who get West Nile virus do not get sick. Those who do usually experience mild symptoms, such as fever, headache, muscle ache, rash and fatigue.

During 2016, 13 people in Wisconsin got the West Nile virus infection, the most since 22 in 2013 and 57 in 2012, the state Department of Health Services said.

As of last week, 38 birds and one horse have tested positive for West Nile virus in 30 Wisconsin counties this summer, including several in central and northern Wisconsin, the state reported on its web site. There have been no confirmed cases in humans.

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