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Second Berkeley County bird tests positive for virus

September 13, 2002|by ANDREA ROWLAND

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A second bird found in Berkeley County, W.Va., has tested positive for West Nile Virus, a county health official said Thursday.

Berkeley County Health Department officials were notified Thursday that a blue jay found dead about three weeks ago on the west side of Martinsburg tested positive for the virus, said Twila Carr, chief sanitarian for the county.

A pedestrian found the bird and took it to the health department to be sent to Georgia for testing, Carr said.

Improperly drained swimming pools - especially at vacant homes in the city and county - have been identified as breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that can carry West Nile, Carr said.

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"One pool in Martinsburg had everything in it from dead mosquitoes to dead animals," she said.

People outside, especially at night and during early morning hours, should wear insect repellent. Stagnant pools of water, like those found in old tires or birds baths, should be eliminated, Carr said.

This is the third confirmed West Nile case in the Panhandle, although health officials are waiting for the results of several other birds sent to a lab in Georgia for testing.

A dead sparrow found at Bedington Crossroads in northern Berkeley County in late August also tested positive for the virus.

In Jefferson County, a dead crow found in Middleway on Aug. 16 tested positive for the disease.

Three birds tested positive in Washington County and two birds have tested positive in Franklin County, Pa.

More information about cases of West Nile Virus in Berkeley County and elsewhere in the state is available online at www.wvdhhr.org.

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