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West Nile is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause:
West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. A mosquito becomes infected by biting a bird that carries the virus.
You cannot get the West Nile Virus from a person who has the disease. It is not spread through person-to-person contact, such as touching, kissing or caring for someone who is infected.
Yes. While the chance of anyone becoming infected with the West Nile Virus is very low. Most cases have occurred in people older than 50. If infected, people in this age group are also more likely to develop severe diseases, such as encephalitis or meningitis.
From May to October, when mosquitoes are most active, take the following precautions:
Products with a low concentration of DEET may be appropriate for situations where exposure to mosquitoes is minimal. Higher concentrations of DEET may be useful in highly infested areas or with species that are more difficult to repel. An effective repellent will contain 35% DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). DEET in high concentrations (greater than 35%) provides no additional protection. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that repellents used on children contain no more than 10% DEET.
Consider using non-chemical ways to deter biting insects, such as protective clothing (as outlined above), window and door screens, and wearable netting when camping.
Recommendations When Using DEET
Note: vitamin B, ultrasonic devices, and incense have not been shown to be effective in preventing mosquito bites.
Evidence indicates that the chance of human infection and illness from the West Nile virus is very low.
People who are older than age 50 are more likely to get seriously ill if they become infected. They should take the greatest care to prevent exposure to mosquito bites.
State officials are interested in sick/dead crows and blue jays - the species most often infected. These are the only species that will be tested. Birds must not be badly damaged or long dead. The bird carcass should be free of maggots and strong odor and have intact eyes.
Wear rubber gloves when handling sick or dead birds. If you have no gloves, insert your hand into a clean plastic bag, pick up the bird with the bagged hand, invert the bag over the bird and seal the bag. Birds should be frozen as soon as possible after collection.
Individuals can drop the bird(s) off at the following location:Kenosha County Public Health Lab - 8600 Sheridan Road, Suite 600, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday - Friday
Once one West Nile Virus positive bird is detected in Kenosha County, additional birds from Kenosha County will no longer be collected. However, reports of sick/dead crows and blue jays should continue to be reported to Kenosha County Public Health at 262-605-6700 or the West Nile Virus Hotline at 1-800-433-1610.