The state has recorded its first cases of West Nile virus for the year. Diep Johnson with the state Division of Public Health says two dead birds reported to the state have tested positive. One was found in Dane County and the other in Waupaca County.
Johnson says the testing helps to identify where West Nile may be currently active in the state. She says it should serve as a warning for people to take precautions to avoid mosquitoes that may carry the virus.
Those steps include wearing long sleeved shirts and pants during the evening hours, along with using mosquito repellants that contain DEET or IR3535. The virus is typically transferred to humans through bites from certain breeds of mosquito.
Johnson says efforts should also be made to destroy the breeding environments of the insects. She says stagnant water sources, such as bird baths or old tires, should be emptied often to prevent eggs from developing.
Only about 20-percent of those infected by the virus ever show any symptoms. The elderly and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk for serious health complications, which occur in about one-percent of those who catch the virus.
No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in the state so far this year.