Wes Nile Virus confirmed in western Wisconsin

Virus is carried by mosquitoes who get it by feeding on infected birds

A case of West Nile Virus in western Wisconsin has health officials on edge.

The virus was found a few weeks ago in a bird in Eau Claire County.

West Nile Virus is carried by mosquitoes who get it by feeding on infected birds. There haven’t been any human cases in Wisconsin yet, but 35 other states do have confirmed cases.

Local experts say people need to be more aware of mosquitoes now that the virus has made its way to our area.

“This is a good reminder for people to avoid areas where there’s a lot of mosquitoes. When you are in those areas, making sure you’re using repellants to prevent mosquito bites, and awareness of what those signs and symptoms might be if you’re infected with West Nile,” said Gundersen Health System Infection Control Specialist Bridget Pfaff.

Those symptoms are similar to flu symptoms with fever and chills being the most common. Older adults and other people with weakened immune systems are at greater risk of developing more severe symptoms.