West Nile Virus Update: 5 More Birds in Franklin, Chittenden Counties

For immediate release:
August 28, 2002

News Media Contact: Linda Dorey
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

Burlington, VT—The Vermont Department of Health’s ongoing surveillance for West Nile virus has identified five additional dead birds that tested positive for the virus.

To date in 2002, eight birds (four from Franklin County and four from Chittenden County) and one horse (from Franklin County) have tested positive for West Nile virus in Vermont. No human cases have been reported.

More than 7,500 mosquitoes have been tested for West Nile virus this year, and no infected mosquitoes have been identified. Additional test results in dead birds and mosquitoes are still pending.

Details about the five new birds:

Humans can get West Nile virus only from the bite of an infected mosquito.

The Health Department recommends that people limit outdoor time at dawn and dusk and other times when mosquitoes are out, wear long sleeves and pants when possible outside, use insect repellant that contains DEET (carefully following product directions and never using it on infants), and reducing the presence of standing water.

Any puddle or standing water that lasts for more than four days can become a breeding ground, so people should empty clogged gutters, change the water in the bird bath regularly, turn over the wading pool or wheelbarrow and get rid of old tires.

The Health Department continues to ask residents who see a dead bird to report it by calling their local Health Department Office. The locations and phone numbers are on the web at www.HealthyVermonters.info., along with more information about West Nile virus.