August 29, 2002

Tests Confirm Scotland County Bird Carried West Nile Virus

The Scotland County Health Department received written confirmation August 26 that a bird sent into the University of Missouri Veterinary Medicine Laboratory was contaminated with the West Nile Virus.

The positive test results came two weeks after lab results confirmed that a Scotland County horse was suffering from West Nile Virus.

Currently there are no reports of human cases of the mosquito-borne disease, which causes flu-like symptoms and in rare cases can be fatal.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported three additional preliminary West Nile virus cases in the state on August 23. The department reported that a 57-year-old woman from St. Louis City, a 79-year-old man from St. Louis County and an 85-year-old woman from Morgan County all have had preliminary positive lab tests.

On August 26 one additional preliminary West Nile virus case, in a nine-year-old boy from St. Francois County.

This latest report makes a total of 16 preliminary West Nile virus cases reported by the department. All preliminary cases have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmation; the department is awaiting results.

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