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West Nile Virus

West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness. Experts believe WNV is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall. Below is additional information and links regarding WNV, including prevention measures, tracking, and clinical guidance.

Preventing the spread of West Nile virus

Reporting Dead Birds

Dead birds may be an indicator of West Nile virus activity. If you find a dead or sick bird, report it to the Wisconsin Dead Bird Hotline at (800) 433-1610. The Wisconsin Dead Bird Hotline will be available for callers starting May 1, 2014 through October 31, 2014.

If it is determined the bird needs to be collected for West Nile virus testing, you will be instructed to call the Milwaukee Health Department, or your local health department, to arrange for shipping. If you need to pick up the dead bird, or you are instructed to simply dispose of it: avoid bare-handed contact and use gloves or an inverted plastic bag to place the bird carcass in a garbage bag and dispose of it with your routine trash. Wash your hands thoroughly following disposal or handling, even if gloves are worn. There is no evidence that West Nile virus can be acquired by handling dead birds. West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, so the best way to protect yourself from West Nile virus is to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.

Reducing mosquito breeding

Removing any standing, stagnant water on your property will help to prevent mosquito breeding. Another way to prevent mosquito breeding is by properly disposing of waste tires. If you have any waste tires (5 or fewer) to dispose of, please call (414) 286-8282.

West Nile Virus Case Data

Click on a bulleted item below for more info:

For Clinicians

Click here to go to CDC's WNV: Information and Guidance for Clinicians web page.

More Information 

Click on a line below for general information and answers to common questions: