(07/25/2002)
The West Nile Virus has arrived in West Virginia.

Dr. John Snyder of the Jackson County Health Department said the virus was confirmed Tuesday in an "Eastern Bluebird" found near Cottageville.

"It is not a cause for alarm, but it is a cause for concern," said Snyder, in a statement about the mosquito-borne disease that can be deadly to humans.

Since the disease first came to America from the West Nile District of Uganda in 1999, the Center for Disease Control has confirmed 152 cases and 18 deaths.

West Virginia joins 27 others states in which the disease has been detected.

Symptoms of the disease, include nausea, vomiting, headache, drowsiness and confusion. The symptoms sometimes lead to seizures and coma, but in rare cases it ends with death.

Prevention includes not being bitten by mosquitoes.

Draining ditches and ponds of stagnant water that breed mosquitoes is important.

Animals, most usually birds and horses, can be infected and die.

Birds found dead with no apparent cause, should be reported to the local health department.


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