Bird Found With West Nile Virus In Oneida County
A dead Blue Jay in Oneida County tested positive for the mosquito-transmitted West Nile virus earlier this week, and health officials are urging Oneida County residents to take extra precautions against mosquito bites.
According to health officials a community member reported the bird’s suspicious death Monday. This is the first bird that’s tested positive for West Nile virus in Oneida County since surveillance for the virus began May 1.
Rob Deede is an Oneida County Public Health nurse. He says the best way to avoid the disease is to reduce exposure to and eliminate grounds for mosquitoes. He says having in-tact screens, avoiding the outdoors at dawn and dusk and wearing bug spray are simple steps to avoid illness…
“…the one thing we definitely want to be on the lookout for is our elder population; people who have weak immune systems, transplant recipients…sometimes those folks in particular can end up having more severe illness with the virus such as encephalitis and meningitis, swelling and inflammation of the brain and spinal column…”
Deede says other common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle ache, rash and fatigue.
“ …about 80 percent of people who come into contact with West Nile virus never even know they had it. About 20 percent of folks have some mild symptoms; fever, headache, basic cold symptoms might be confused for fatigue and then they recover in a couple days.”
Deede says the best way to avoid the disease is to reduce exposure to and eliminate grounds for mosquitoes. He says having in-tact screens, avoiding the outdoors at dawn and dusk and wearing bug spray are simple steps to avoid illness…
To eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, Deede says to trim tall grass, weeds and vines, change water in birdbaths and pet dishes every three days and to clean and chlorinate swimming pools and outdoor saunas. The Department of Health Services has monitored the spread of West Nile Virus since 2001.
For more information visit the Department of Health Services website.