NORTH SHORE -- The North Shore Health Department reports a dead crow has tested positive for West Nile virus.
West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds.
"North Shore residents should be aware of West Nile virus and take some simple steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites," said Ann Christiansen, Health Director/Health Officer. "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 North Shore Health Department recommends the following:
The majority of people (80%) who are infected with West Nile virus do not get sick. Those who do become ill usually experience mild symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle ache, rash, and fatigue. Less than 1% of people infected with the virus get seriously ill with symptoms that include high fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation, mental confusion, tremors, confusion, paralysis, and coma. Older adults and those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of developing central nervous system illness that can be fatal.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has monitored the spread of West Nile virus since 2001 among wild birds, horses, mosquitoes, and people.
During 2002, the State documented its first human infections and 52 cases were reported that year.
During 2014, six cases of West Nile virus infection were reported among Wisconsin residents.
West Nile virus infections in humans have been reported from June through October; however, most reported becoming ill with West Nile virus in August and September.
The Wisconsin Division of Public Health will continue surveillance for West Nile virus until the end of the mosquito season. To report a sick or dead crow, blue jay, or raven, please call the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline at 1-800-433-1610.