Zoonotic Disease Program
West Nile Virus
West Nile virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. It is widespread in Africa, southern Europe, and western Asia. It first appeared in the United States in 1999 in the greater New York City area. In 2007, there were human cases in 45 states. It has caused illness and mortality in humans, wildlife and domestic animals, especially birds and horses. In humans, it causes an influenza-like illness that may lead to aseptic meningitis, encephalitis, and death, especially in persons over 50 years of age. West Nile virus is important because it affects not only people, but also wildlife (including many game animals), and some domestic animals, especially horses.
- While dead crows and blue jays can be valuable warnings of WNV activity, we are no longer accepting dead birds for testing. Please contact your local health department if you would like to report dead bird sightings.
Please take a moment to read the rest of our West Nile Virus information. If you still have questions after reviewing this material, you may call our toll-free information line at 1-888-722-4371.
Last Updated: 4/21/2009
ODH Programs / Zoonotic Diseases / Alerts & Advisories / Links