Crow Found in Reston Tests Positive for West Nile Virus


Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

July 10, 2003

 

Crow Found in Reston Tests Positive for West Nile Virus

 

Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., director of the Fairfax County Health Department, announced today that a dead crow found in the Reston area has been confirmed to have West Nile virus. This is the first West Nile virus-positive bird to be found in Fairfax County this year. Last year 70 positive birds were found in Fairfax County.

The crow was picked up in the Reston area on June 27 and sent to the state's Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services in Richmond for testing. Test results received late yesterday confirmed the bird tested positive for West Nile virus. Beginning today, active mosquito surveillance will be established in the area to determine the magnitude of the problem and information will be distributed about steps people should take to help avoid West Nile virus infection.

Since May, Fairfax County has continued a proactive approach in combating West Nile virus by treating 50,000 to 60,000 storm drains with a larvicide to inhibit mosquito breeding and launching a public outreach campaign aimed at informing the public about steps that they should take to better protect themselves from this disease. A second round of storm drain treatments is scheduled to begin the end of this month. These storm drain treatments will not eliminate all of the mosquitoes but will help reduce the mosquito population. The product used to treat the storm drains is a naturally occurring bacteria, which is harmless to other insects and the environment.

Unlike previous years, the Health Department is not collecting dead birds this year. However, they are very interested in knowing the location of dead birds for their surveillance programs. Citizens can call the Health Department at 703-246-2300, TTY 711 to report a dead bird.

West Nile virus is spread to birds, humans, horses and other mammals through the bite of an infected mosquito. The majority of people bitten by an infected mosquito do not get sick. People who do get sick usually suffer a mild flu-like illness. People over age 50 are at greatest risk of serious illness, such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).

"People need to pay special attention to eliminating mosquito breeding areas around the home and protecting themselves from mosquito bites while outside this summer," Dr. Jorge Arias, Fairfax County environmental health entomologist, said. "We are expecting an increase in West Nile virus in birds and mosquitoes this year, which will increase the risk of human infection."

Citizens can prevent mosquitoes from breeding by "tipping and tossing" containers of standing water or removing containers around the home where water collects, such as old tires, potted plant trays, buckets and toys. People also should clean birdbaths and wading pools once a week, and clean out clogged roof gutters and downspouts regularly.

The Fairfax County Health Department recommends the following tips to reduce exposure to mosquitoes:

  • Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing.
  • Use insect repellent in accordance with the label instructions.
  • Use yellow bug lights for outdoor lighting.

 

So far this year this virus has been detected in 39 birds in Virginia. In 2002, 933 birds, 45 horses and 180 mosquito pools tested positive for West Nile virus in Virginia. There were also 29 human cases with two fatalities.

For more information on West Nile virus, log onto the Health Department's page on the Fairfax County Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/service/hd/ and click on "Mosquitoes" at the bottom of the page, or call 703-246-2300, TTY 711.


 

 

 

 

FAIRFAX COUNTY IS COMMITTED TO A POLICY OF NONDISCRIMINATION IN ALL COUNTY PROGRAMS, SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES AND WILL PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS UPON REQUEST. TO REQUEST SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS, CALL 703-324-3187 OR TTY-703-324-2935. PLEASE ALLOW FIVE WORKING DAYS IN ADVANCE OF EVENTS IN ORDER TO MAKE THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

ADA Accessibility | Website Accessibility
Awards | FOIA | Mobile | Using this Site | Web Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Get Adobe Reader
Official site of the County of Fairfax, Virginia, © Copyright 2013

Website Feedback Website Feedback    Globe with various flags representing Web site language translations   Language Translations

Return to Graphic Version