HEALTH DEPARTMENT WIC PROGRAM 1701 HIGH STREET, SUITE 102 1701 HIGH STREET, SUITE 102 PORTSMOUTH, VA 23704 PORTSMOUTH, VA 23704 (757)393-8585 FAX:(757)393-8027 (757)393-5340 FAX: (757)393-5041 COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA Department of Health m Demetria M. Lindsay, MD 1701 HIGH STREET, SUITE 102 a Health Director PORTSMOUTH, VA 23704 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 26, 2002 Contact: Pete Nichols, REHS Acting Environmental Health Manager (757) 393-8585, ext. 8585 Second Crow Tests Positive for West Nile Virus in Portsmouth Dr. Demetria Lindsay, MD, Director of the Portsmouth Health Department, announced yesterday that a crow found in Portsmouth has tested positive for West Nile Virus. The crow was located in the Cradock area and is the second positive crow to be found in Portsmouth this year. The Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services in Richmond tested and confirmed the positive West Nile Virus result on July 25, 2002. Portsmouth’s first West Nile Virus positive crow was located in the Mid-City area on June 10, 2002. The crow was observed exhibiting abnormal behavior and was captured by Portsmouth Animal Control. Portsmouth Animal Control has increased their surveillance for abnormal behavior and/or illness in predatory birds, such as crows. The public is cautioned not to handle sick or dead crows, but to call Portsmouth Animal Control at 393-8430 or the Portsmouth Health Department at 393-8585. West Nile Virus is spread to birds, humans, horses and other mammals through the bites of an infected mosquito. Most people bitten by an infected mosquito do not get sick. People who do get sick usually suffer a mild flu-like illness. People over the age of 50 are at the greatest risk of serious illness, such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). The Virginia Department of Health recommends the following to reduce exposure to mosquitoes: Wear long, loose and light colored clothing. Use insect repellent products with no more than 35% DEET for adults and less than 10% for children. Follow instructions when using insect repellents. Turn over or remove containers in your yard where water collects, such as old tires, potted plant trays, buckets and toys. Eliminate standing water on tarps or flat roofs. Clean out birdbaths and wading pools once a week. Clean roof gutters and downspout screens regularly. For more information on West Nile Virus, log on to the Virginia Department of Health’s website at www.vdh.state.va.us and click on “West Nile Virus Update”.