West Nile Virus Discovered in Crow in Milton

For Immediate Release: September 1, 2006
Media Contact: Communication Office
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON - The Vermont Department of Health announced that a dead crow discovered in Milton tested positive for the West Nile virus today. The bird is the second confirmed with the virus in the state this year.

There have been no confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Vermont for the past two years, and no human cases in 2006. Crows are common carriers of the virus.

A crow discovered in Middlebury tested positive for West Nile virus on Aug. 18. West Nile Virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.

"We are in the midst of peak season for West Nile virus and as we enter into the long, holiday weekend it is important that people try to limit their outdoor time at dusk and dawn and take proper precautions to avoid mosquitos,” said Susan Schoenfeld, an epidemiologist with the Vermont Department of Health.

The Health Department also recommends that people wear long sleeves and pants when possible and use an insect repellent – carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions. Never use insect repellents that contain DEET on infants. Vermonters should also drain areas where water can collect, such as old tires, rain gutters, bird baths, and any other containers that can hold water.

West Nile virus surveillance in Vermont involves testing dead birds, mosquitoes, and people and horses that have symptoms consistent with the virus.

More information about West Nile virus can be found at the Vermont Department of Health website healthvermont.gov.

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