Crow found in Washtenaw County tests positive for West Nile virus

Health officials report increased West Nile activity in Metro Detroit mosquitoes

Crows in a tree (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. - A crow found in Washtenaw County has tested positive for West Nile virus, health officials said.

The crow was found in the 48105 ZIP code, according to the Washtenaw County Health Department.

Residents are urged to prevent mosquito bites and reduce the chance of spreading West Nile virus.

"We haven’t seen human cases of West Nile in Washtenaw County yet this year, but they are most likely in late August and early September," said Laura Bauman, epidemiology manager at the Washtenaw County Health Department.

As of Aug. 15, 42 birds had tested positive for West Nile virus in Michigan this year. Metro Detroit is also among the areas seeing increased West Nile activity in mosquitoes, officials said.

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause mild to severe symptoms in humans and other animals. West Nile is primarily transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has fed on a bird that carries the virus in its blood, health officials said.

Here are some tips from the Washtenaw County Health Department to stay safe from West Nile virus:

  • Eliminate standing water: Mosquitoes need water to lay eggs. Get rid of old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles or any water-holding containers. Fill in or drain any low places (puddles, ruts, etc.) in the yard. Keep drains, ditches and culverts free of weeds and trash so water will drain properly. Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store indoors when not in use. Unused swimming pools should be drained and kept dry during the mosquito season. Change the water in pet dishes, horse troughs, birdbaths and plant pots or drip trays at least once each week.
  • Fight the bite: Wear long sleeves, long pants, shoes and socks. Wear insect repellent containing active ingredients approved by the EPA -- visit the EPA's Inspect Repellent Search Tool for help in finding the right insect repellent for your needs. Spray clothing with repellent, as mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing. Read repellent labels carefully and follow instructions.
  • Report dead birds: High numbers of dead birds can indicate the virus is active in a particular area. Report dead birds at the State of Michigan Sick or Dead Bird & Mammal Reporting Website.

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