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West Nile Detected in Pierce County Crow

October 8, 2009

For Immediate Release: October 8. 2009 Tacoma-Pierce County WA ? Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has confirmed that West Nile virus
has been detected in a dead crow found in Pierce County. This case is the first detection of the virus in the county.

Although summer is over, West Nile virus season won't end until colder weather arrives and stops mosquito activity for the year. Typically, the virus is spread to people by mosquitoes who feed on infected birds. In addition to people, infected birds, horses and mosquito pools have been found in Washington State this year.
Statewide, positive results have been confirmed on 67 horses, 21 birds, and 341 mosquito samples. Although Pierce County has not experienced any human cases of West Nile virus, there have been 27 confirmed human cases in Washington State. None of these cases resulted in death.

While West Nile virus won't sicken most people who are infected, it can produce symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms may include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis, and coma. In rare cases, it can be fatal. People with symptoms
should contact a health care provider. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department encourages people to take precautions to protect themselves from West Nile virus by avoiding mosquito bites.
  • Make sure windows and screens are tight.
  • Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use mosquito repellents toward off the insects.
  • Get rid of old tires and other containers where water can accumulate and serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when in mosquito infested areas
To report a dead bird, call (253) 798-6578. You can find detailed information on West Nile virus at our website. Statewide information is available on Washington State Department of Health's West Nile virus page. Be healthier, safer, and smarter. Visit for many ways to improve and protect your health.

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