||April 1, 2015|
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West Nile Virus Information and Resources
On behalf of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Health Officers Committee, welcome to the COG West Nile Virus (WNV) Web site. The purpose of this Web site is to increase awareness and provide access to resources (local, state, and national) on WNV for residents of the Washington metropolitan area. In addition, this Web site will provide information about what is being done locally on West Nile Virus.
The General Information section provides an overview of WNV, symptoms and treatment of WNV, steps that the public can take to keep their families and community safe, and where to call if a dead bird is found in your area. To keep the public informed about what steps local health officials are taking regarding WNV, there is a link to the COG West Nile Virus Response Plan.
If you would like to know how to contact your local health department, please visit the Local Information page. Each health jurisdiction represented by COG has provided a telephone number or web site where you can find out what is being done in your area regarding WNV.
On the Educational Information page, there are links to the Centers for Disease Controland Prevention (CDC), to local information for your county, and links to agencies (state and federal) that may answer your questions about pesticides. The CDC answers questions to a variety of topics, such as Prevention of WNV, WNV and Birds, etc.
The Additional Resources page lists federal and academic institutions that provide additional information about WNV and related topics.
Q: What is West Nile Virus infection?
Q: Who gets West Nile virus infection?
Q: How is West Nile Virus spread?
Q: Do all mosquitoes bite humans?
Q: Do all mosquitoes transmit the West Nile Virus?
Q: Why are some people bitten more than others?
Q: Where do mosquitoes live?
Q: I have gotten a mosquito bite. Should I be tested for West Nile Virus infection?
Q: What are the symptoms of West Nile Virus infection?
Q: How soon after exposure do symptoms appear?
Q: Does past infection with West Nile Virus make a person immune?
Q: What is the treatment for West Nile Virus infection?
Q: Is there a vaccine for West Nile Virus?
Controlling mosquitoes or eliminating mosquito-breeding sites around the home can prevent West Nile infection.
1. Avoid getting mosquito bites by using insect repellants and by wearing protective clothing.
2. Another way to control mosquitoes is to remove standing water where mosquitoes breed.
Dead birds act as a sentinel and dead bird surveillance is one of the components of Integrated Pest Management for West Nile virus. The District of Columbia and Maryland have determined that West Nile virus is now endemic in their jurisdictions and are no longer studying dead birds. If you find a dead bird in the District or Maryland, please dispose of the bird yourself (See Appendix E in the West Nile Virus Response Plane for the National Capital Region for protocol).
In 2003, Virginia will continue to monitor, and in some cases test, dead birds reported to local health departments. Only selected crows, blue jays and raptors (i.e. hawks, falcons or owls) will be tested for mosquito-borne viruses, because they are the best early signs of virus activity in an area. However, once a certain number of positive birds are identified in a locality, testing may cease except for special circumstances.
In Virginia, contact your local health department to determine whether the bird should be submitted for laboratory testing, or visit the Virginia Department of Health Web site for more information.
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