WHITE EARTH - The West Nile Virus (WNV) was recently detected in two crows within the city of Mahnomen.
An individual reported the bird carcasses to the White Earth Reservation Natural Resources Department, who in turn sent the birds to the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) in Wisconsin. The NWHC Epidemiology Team confirmed the birds were carriers of the West Nile Virus.
The NWHC recommends that individuals take precautions to minimize their exposure to mosquitoes which can transmit the virus between infected birds and people and other animals. Remove pools of standing water around living areas and work spaces where mosquitoes breed and lay eggs. Wear long sleeves and long pants sprayed with insect repellent such as DEET to keep biting insects away. Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active if possible. Avoid directly handling or consuming carcasses of birds found sick or dead. Use disposable gloves or inverted plastic bag to pick up and dispose of carcasses safely.
Most people exposed to West Nile Virus don't develop any symptoms. However, if a person develops a fever, headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, or more severe neurologic symptoms, they should contact their doctor and let them know that WNV has been recently detected in birds in their area.
You can find more WNV prevention information at the Center of Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov.