APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Health officials in Appleton are confirming the city's first case of a bird testing positive for the West Nile Virus.
In a release, Appleton health officer Kurt Eggebrecht said, "The positive bird means that residents of Appleton need to be more vigilant in their person protective measures to prevent mosquito bites,"
West Nile is a virus spread to human through infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes get the virus by feeding on infected birds.
Wisconsin has had two confirmed human deaths from West Nile Virus this year, as of Wednesday.
"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," said Eggebrecht.
The Appleton Health Department recommends the following:
- Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Apply insect repellant to clothing as well as exposed skin since mosquitoes may bite through clothing.
- Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquito entry.
- Properly dispose of items that hold water, such as tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or discarded tires.
- Clean roof gutters and downspouts for proper drainage.
- Turn over wheelbarrows, wading pools, boats, and canoes when not in use.
- Change the water in birdbaths and pet dishes at least every three days.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs; drain water from pool covers.
- Trim tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.
- Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas.