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Health Department on the lookout for West Nile Virus


The Springfield/Greene County Health Department continues surveillance for the WestNile Virus. Mike Smith has the story:

This is the 3rd year the Springfield/Greene County Health Department is collecting information on dead or dying indicator birds in an attempt to track West Nile Virus activity in Greene County. Clay Goddard is the Environmental Community Health Planner for the Springfield/Greene County Health Department. He says the 3 indicator birds the Health Department is tracking this year include crows, bluejays, and hawks: (Audio: Clay Goddard)

Goddard says dead or dying birds should not be reported to the Health Department if they are decomposed, mauled by and animal, or show obvious signs of injury:

(Audio: Clay Goddard)

Even though Goddard is interested in getting information about dead or dying indicator birds, Goddard says a number of factors will determine if the Health Department will collect them: (Audio: Clay Goddard)

West Nile Virus can be transmitted to birds, horses, and humans by mosquitoes, and Goddard says all citizens should do their part in eliminating places where mosquitoes can reproduce: (Audio: Clay Goddard)

Goddard says the public should not be alarmed about West Nile as less than 1 percent of mosquitoes can carry the virus and less than 1 percent of people bitten by those mosquitoes will become seriously ill. Again, indicator birds can be reported to the Springfield/Greene County Health Department by calling 417-864-1658, or on line at www.westnilefilespringfield.org Reporting for KSMU news, I'm Mike Smith.