Two More West Nile Birds Found In Virginia

Virginia's Commissioner of Health E. Anne Peterson, MD, MPH, reported Tuesday that two more crows have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) in Virginia. The two crows were found in Fairfax and Spotsylvania Counties. The total number of crows testing positive for WNV in the state is now four. No cases of WNV have been confirmed in mosquitoes, horses, or humans in Virginia this year. The Health Commissioner emphasized that the risk to people is even lower than a few weeks ago, because the mosquito population is reduced at this time of year.

"Mosquito spraying will not be necessary at this time due to the colder weather. Mosquitoes are not active when the temperature dips below 55 degrees," Peterson said.

Peterson said one of the infected crows was found at Pohick Bay Regional Park in Fairfax County on Oct. 20. The crow tested positive for WNV at the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) in Richmond on November 3, and the case was confirmed by DCLS on November 6. The bird in Spotsylvania County was collected on Sept. 30, and tested positive for WNV on Nov. 2 at the Virginia Department of Health laboratory in Norfolk.

WNV is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes can become infected after biting infected birds.

Test results for WNV will now be posted weekly on the Virginia Department of Health's West Nile virus web site. Visit www.vdh.state.va.us, and click on the "West Nile Virus Update."

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