Portage Co. finds crow with West Nile virus - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Portage Co. finds crow with West Nile virus

STEVENS POINT (WXOW) – A sixth county in central and northern Wisconsin has found a dead bird infected with the mosquito-transmitted West Nile virus.

A crow found July 25 in Portage County tested positive for the virus, meaning people need to be more aware of protecting themselves against mosquito bites, interim Health Officer Gary Garske said Tuesday. The dead bird was found on private property near Stevens Point.

As of Tuesday, dead birds with West Nile virus have also been found in Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas and Wood counties, health officials said.

The first human case of West Nile virus in Wisconsin this summer was diagnosed in a Dane County resident last month, state health officials said.

The best way to avoid the disease is to reduce exposure to it and eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes, Garske said in a statement.

Mosquitoes acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds, he said.

About 80 percent of people who are infected with the West Nile virus do not get sick, health experts said. Those who do get ill usually experience mild symptoms, such as fever, headache, muscle ache, rash and fatigue, said authorities.

The state Department of Health Services said 57 cases of West Nile virus infections in people were reported last year.

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