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West Nile virus deaths rise in Wisconsin this week

West Nile Virus graphic
West Nile Virus graphic

ONEIDA COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - The West Nile Virus made its presence known in Wisconsin this week.

Six dead birds tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus since Monday, bringing the total to 10 so far.

State health officials have still not reported any human cases yet, but the bird deaths are a sign that human cases are just around the corner.

Officials urge folks to take precautions that include using repellent, and wearing long pants while outside.

A dead crow in Oneida County is among the latest victims. Other West Nile bird deaths have been reported in Vilas, Chippewa, Dunn, Wood, Fond du Lac, Washington, Jefferson, and Rock counties.

Four of every five people who get virus don’t get sick. The virus most affects the elderly, young children, and those with compromised immune systems.

Last year, 57 Wisconsinites fell ill – but that was an unusual year which saw hundreds of deaths from the virus in the nation’s mid-section. Wisconsin had 4 West Nile deaths a year ago.