A house sparrow in Genesee County has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This is the first positive report of WNV in Genesee County this year. More than 200 birds throughout the state have tested positive for West Nile virus this year.
Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) reminds residents that the most effective way to protect against West Nile virus and other mosquito borne illnesses is to prevent mosquito bites.
A person may contract West Nile virus through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds.
Most people bitten by infected mosquitos show no symptoms of illness. However, some develop headaches, fever, confusion, or muscle weakness. WNV also can cause more serious neurological illnesses, such as meningitis and encephalitis.
To reduce the mosquito population, empty and scrub containers such as flower pots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet dishes, bird baths and old tires that have standing water. – L.R.