Bird Tests Positive for West Nile Virus in Washburn County

WASHBURN COUNTY, Wis. – A dead raven has tested positive for West Nile Virus in Washburn County, according to the Washburn County Health Department.

West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito, which acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds.

“Finding the virus in birds indicates that West Nile virus may be present in the local mosquito population, and the residents of Washburn County need to be more vigilant in their personal protective measures,” said Cheri Nickell, Washburn County Health Officer.

The Washburn County Health Department recommends the following to residents to avoid the disease and minimize exposure:

  • Limit time outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active
  • Apply insect repellent as well as exposed skin since mosquitoes may bite through clothing
  • Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquito entry
  • Properly dispose of items 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 birdbaths 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 form pooling in low-lying areas
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