September 9, 2009 in City, News

West Plains bird tests positive for West Nile

By The Spokesman-Review

A dead magpie gathered from the West Plains area is the first animal to test positive for West Nile virus in Spokane County.

Public health officials noted one bit of good news regarding the virus discovery: the end of the mosquito season is near.

West Nile is spread to humans from mosquitoes that become infected by first biting birds.

The virus can lead to encephalitis or meningitis.

West Nile is present in other parts of Washington and Idaho. Last month health officials noted that a Spokane man became infected with West Nile after being bitten by mosquitoes in Yakima County.

Birds especially susceptible to dying for the virus include crows, ravens magpies and jays.

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