A dead crow found in Washington County has tested positive for West Nile virus, the first positive bird test in Wisconsin this year. West Nile virus can be spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected with the virus by feeding on infected birds, which then have potential to transmit the virus by biting people.
Although few mosquitoes carry West Nile virus, the state Department of Health Services reminds residents that infected birds serve as an early warning that the virus is present, and that people should take precautions against mosquito bites.
In 2012, 57 cases of West Nile virus infection were reported among Wisconsin residents, the highest annual number of reported cases since surveillance of the disease began in Wisconsin.