(09/05/2002)
West Virginia now has 20 counties reporting dead birds with West Nile Virus. Dead birds found in Berkley, Hardy and Marion County being added to the list.

Roane County is the closest regional county with a positive bird.

A case of a person being actually infected by the virus is yet to be reported in West Virginia.

Marlan Zwoll with the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, says "Persons who see a dead bird should contact the local health department." Birds are sent to the University of Georgia to be tested.

The West Nile Virus is spread by mosquito bites. People are urged to protect themselves indoors and out using protective clothing or the chemical spray DEET, a well-known repellant.

Any standing water can be a source for the breeding of mosquitos, including ponds, potholes, bird baths, pet bowls, tires, pots, cans or even bottlecaps.

Cold weather, whenever it comes, will eliminate the problem for this year.

Recent concerns have surfaced regarding blood supplies becoming infected with the West Vile Virus, although there have been no known cases of the virus being transmitted by transfusion.

Precautions are being taken with the blood supply.


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