City Desk

Remember West Nile Virus?

The D.C. Department of Health wants you to stay away from mosquitoes. Yes, compared to bird flu, West Nile Virus seems so 2005—but it's still around. In a press release, DOH explains that West Nile mainly threatens birds, but is occasionally transmitted to human beings when mosquitoes bite. There were two cases of West Nile Virus in the District last year.So far this year? None.

If you're a young, healthy adult, you're unlikely to get much more than mild flu symptoms if you happen to pick up the virus. Still, it's worth taking precautions, the District explains, like draining any standing water near your home in order to avoid attracting blood suckers.

The other thing you should avoid is touching dead birds with your bare hands. (Though that's probably self-evident to most people with common sense.) The department breaks down exactly how to get rid of avian carcases:

To properly dispose of the bird:

  • Wear protective gloves or use a plastic bag as a glove
  • Place or wrap the dead bird in a plastic bag and tie the bag securely
  • Dispose of the bag in an outdoor trash receptacle
  • Wash your hands with soap and water
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  • downtown rez

    That's two confirmed cases, folks.
    OTOH, how many people do you know that got the summer "flu", and went to the hospital to get blood work or a spinal tap for it? I'm betting there's a lot of undiagnosed cases out there.

  • Truth Hurts

    Don't go near the dead birds, even with gloves. Call a professional instead. Protect your family and the community by eliminating all mosquito breeding areas. And do what I did: buy an electrical mosquito zapper for your yard. Be safe out there.

  • Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder

    Indeed, be cautious with mosquitoes! Got myself a solar powered mosquito zapper that hangs outside our gazebo. Every little effort pays off!