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First bird of year tests positive for West Nile

Published On: Jun 20 2013 06:16:29 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 20 2013 06:16:37 PM CDT
West Nile virus_mosquito

image from RAL

MADISON, Wis. -

Wisconsin health officials say a dead crow found in Washington County is the first bird to test positive for West Nile virus this year.

The state Department of Health Services says people should see infected birds as an early warning of the virus and be more vigilant in protecting themselves against mosquito bites.

West Nile virus is spread to people and animals through mosquito bites. To avoid infections, people should limit their time outside when bugs are active at night, apply insect repellant frequently, and make sure their window and door screens are in good repair.

Officials say the chances of infections are low. Most people will have no symptoms or a fever and rash that they quickly recover from. A small number of people can develop serious neurologic problems.

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