Until this week, only Washington and Jackson Counties in our area had positive West Nile identifications so far this summer. Now, Wood County has two.
"Usually, the activity picks up in late summer, even in our dead bird surveillance. And usually, there's a two to three week delay in getting the information back from the University of Georgia (where the testing is done)," says Steve Bayer.
One bird, a blue jay, which tested positive, was found off Camden Avenue in south Parkersburg, and the other, a house finch, was found at the Wakefield addition below Lubeck. The city of Parkersburg this summer has been spraying for mosquitoes, after two residents died of West Nile-related illnesses last year.
The two positive results mean that no other tests will be conducted in Wood County. That's because it's been established that West Nile exists somewhere in the county.
"You need to be careful, though, that not all mosquitoes can carry West Nile. Only a small number of the species of mosquitoes will be able to vector West Nile," Steve says.
Bayer adds, however, that dead birds from the health department's six other counties will still be collected for testing. People from those counties finding suspicious birds can still contact their local health departments.