The Brown County Health Department today has reported the first bird to test positive for West Nile virus in the county for the year.
Local health departments urge the reporting of any sick or dying crow, blue jay, robin or other perching bird to their local health department, which will determine if the bird will be picked up for testing.
West Nile is commonly transmitted through house mosquitoes that have picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird or other animal. Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will be asymptomatic. In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis, encephalitis, or death can occur. People older than 60 and individuals with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.
House mosquitoes commonly feed at dusk. Health departments want to remind people of the 3 Rs when it comes to avoiding mosquito bites by reducing the number of mosquitoes in or around your home, repel mosquitoes using proper insect repellents and long-sleeved clothing, and reporting dead birds to help monitor for the virus.