Mosquito-transmitted virus reaches this area
ELLSWORTH -- The Pierce County Health Department reports a dead crow found in the county July 28 has tested positive for West Nile virus.
This is the first bird that tested positive for West Nile virus in Pierce County since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1.
“The positive bird means that residents of Pierce County need to be more vigilant in their personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites,” Sue Galoff, Health Officer/Director said.
West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds.
“Pierce County residents should be aware of West Nile virus and take some simple steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” Galoff said. “The West Nile virus seems to be here to stay, so the best way to avoid the disease is to reduce exposure to and eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes.”
Most people (80%) infected with West Nile virus do not get sick. Those who do become ill usually experience mild symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle ache, rash, and fatigue.
Less than 1% of people infected with the virus get seriously ill, with symptoms that include high fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation, mental confusion, tremors, confusion, paralysis, and coma.
Older adults and those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of developing central nervous system illness that can be fatal.