West Nile virus is spread to people by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. Mosquitoes get infected with it by feeding on infected birds and can then transmit the virus to other animals, birds, and humans. These infections generally occur during warm weather months when mosquitoes are active.
Usual symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, swollen glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. In rare cases, it can cause severe disease. Not everyone who is infected will have symptoms.
Public Health assists the Wisconsin Department of Health Services in monitoring for dead birds during the summer months which can be an indicator of West Nile virus in the local mosquito population.
To report a dead bird, call the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline at 1-800-433-1610.
Help to keep reduce the mosquito population by:
- Emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels.
- Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly.
- Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out.
- Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used.