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West Nile Virus Resource on the Web

PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University Cooperative Extension has created a Web site to help citizens find answers to questions about West Nile virus.

The WSU site at http://wnv.wsu.edu links users to many useful resources across the nation, according to Tom Platt, coordinator of extension’s West Nile virus education project.

“The site has general information on West Nile virus plus an extensive list of links and other resources, including guidelines for reducing mosquitoes at home and preventing mosquito bites,” Platt said. “You can access this information at the county extension office if you don’t have a computer.”

West Nile virus is a disease of birds that is transmitted by mosquitoes. Occasionally, an infected mosquito passes the disease to horses or humans. This year, West Nile virus has occurred throughout the United States in all but five western states and Rhode Island.

Generally, the virus is first detected in birds, followed by mosquitoes, horses and then humans, progressing from birds to humans over a month’s period of time and spreading across the country from east to west beginning in late spring and ending in the fall.

Last week the Washington Department of Health announced the state’s first apparent human case. Until confirmed by tests, the case will be listed as probable. The occurrence of the probable human case in Washington is somewhat unusual because it precedes veterinary or bird cases, Platt said. He refers people to the Washington State Department of Health at 1-866-78VIRUS.

For more information about the WSU Cooperative Extension West Nile virus Web site, contact Platt at plattom@wsu.edu

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