West Nile Virus
West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in at least 48 species of mosquitoes, over 320 species of birds, at least 2 species of reptiles, and more than 25 mammalian species, including hor
Experimentally, it was found that this may be possible.
Under normal conditions, humans are unlikely to be infected with West Nile Virus by handling a sick or dead animal. However, there are a number of other infections that could potentially result from handling an animal.
Signs of infection in wildlife, like in humans, can range from no symptoms to severe symptoms of neurologic illness.
I have a bird feeder [or birdbath] in my yard. Am I putting myself and healthy birds at risk of infection?
West Nile Virus is most often spread to humans from the bite of an infected mosquito. However, it’s always a good idea to follow basic hygienic procedures. Birdbaths and feeders should be washed or disinfected regularly.
At this time, there is not a West Nile Virus vaccine approved for use in birds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with several organizations and laboratories, is developing and testing vaccines for use in birds.
There have been many reports of new mammalian species infected with West Nile Virus (WNV) this season, such as goats, reindeer, a wolf, and dogs. Has the virus changed?
It is possible that there may have been a mutation in the virus that is causing a higher number of species to be affected this year. There is currently no evidence of significant mutation in the U.S.
What about West Nile Virus in game birds? Should hunters be concerned about eating the game they catch?
Some game birds have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). However, there is no evidence of human infection by consumption of properly cooked infected game.
This is an issue of great concern, as these populations are already struggling to survive in the current environment.
West Nile Virus has been detected in all conterminous states of the U.S., the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam have no reported cases of West Nile virus in humans or animals.