Wisconsin has recorded its first case of the West Nile virus this year. State health officials say it comes from a dead crow found in Dodge County.
The state uses reports of dead birds to help identify areas where infected mosquitoes are active, so they can urge residents to take precautions to avoid becoming the first human victims of the year.
People, birds, and horses all get West Nile from mosquito bites. The mosquitoes get the virus by feeding on infected birds.
Last year, Wisconsin had 16 confirmed human cases of West Nile. That was a small number compared to 2012, when cases spiked throughout the nation’s mid-section and four Wisconsinites died from the virus.
State officials say most West Nile cases typically do not show up until August or September — but folks can protect themselves now, by staying away from standing pools of water, and using insect repellent when outdoors.