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Five dead birds in Wisconsin tested positive for West Nile

West Nile Virus graphic
West Nile Virus graphic

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Five dead birds in Wisconsin have tested positive for the West Nile virus.

Wisconsin has not had any human cases of the mosquito-borne illness this summer – but officials say bird and horse deaths provide a warning for people to take precautions.

The Wood County Health Department confirmed the state’s latest case Monday.

West Nile was diagnosed in a dead blue jay in the southern part of Wood County around Wisconsin Rapids.

Health experts say 80 percent of those infected with West Nile virus do not get sick. The disease can be deadly, though. Four Wisconsinites died from West Nile a year ago, when record human cases occurred throughout the nation’s mid-section.

57 Wisconsinites were said to be infected – 9 more than in 2002, when West Nile was first reported. 32 birds and one horse also died from the virus last year.