Chippewa County Public Health Nurse Jean Durch reports that a dead crow found on August 29, 2005 is the first bird testing positive for West Nile virus this year in the county.
Durch says residents need to be more vigilant in their personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites. West Nile is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitos, Durch said, get the virus by feeding on birds.
Health officials say about 80% who are infected with the virus do not become ill. Those who do, however, experience symptoms such as fever, headache or a rash. Under 1% of the population becomes seriously ill.
Also, health officials encourage people to keep window screens in good repair, and tuck pants in socks when outside along with wearing loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts.