Shawano County bird tests positive for West Nile virus
From the Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department
The Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department reported that a dead crow found in Shawano County on July 26, 2017 has tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first bird that tested positive for West Nile virus in Shawano-Menominee counties since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began on May 1.
“The positive bird means that residents of Shawano and Menominee counties need to be more vigilant in the personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites,” Judith Sengstock, Health Officer/Director, said.
West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds.
“Shawano and Menominee county residents should be aware of West Nile virus and take some simple steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” Judith said. “The West Nile virus seems to be here to stay, so the best way to avoid the disease is to reduce exposure to and eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes.”
The Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department recommends 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 windows 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