Bird In Gila County Tests Positive For West Nile

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The West Nile has made its way into Gila County.

"A bird tested positive for it," said Dave Fletcher of the Gila County Health Department.

The bird, a crow, was found dead earlier this week in Peridot, just east of Globe, on the San Carlos Indian Reservation. The Indian Health Services submitted it for testing by the state.

"West Nile has probably been here, but we have just not had any positive test results until now," Fletcher said.

The state health department issued the following recommendations for protection against mosquitoes.

The best way to protect from mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and neighborhood. Personal precautions to take include:

  • Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can breed such as cans, bottles, jars, buckets, old tired, drums and other containers.
  • Change water in flower vases, birdbaths, planters and animal watering pans at least twice a week.
  • Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets and move air conditioner drain hoses frequently.
  • Avoid being bitten by mosquitoes when going outside at night by using insect repellent and wear lightweight, light-colored clothing that covers the arms and legs.

Dr. Bob England, state epidemiologist, said, "The chance that any one person is going to become ill from a mosquito bite is low. Most people do not become ill, and for those who do, most suffer only a mild flu-like illness for a few days before they recover. The symptoms may be so mild that most don't even know they were infected."

For more information, the county health department can be reached at (928) 425-3231, extension 8517, or, in Payson, at 474-1210. Additional information is on the state health department's website: www.hs.state.az.us, or call (800) 314-9243.

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