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Published July 16, 2013, 06:13 PM

West Nile Virus discovered in crow in Grand Forks

West Nile Virus is in Grand Forks. The Public Health Department is warning people this evening to do what they can to keep from being bitten by mosquitoes.

By: Victor Correa, WDAZ

West Nile Virus is in Grand Forks. The Public Health Department is warning people this evening to do what they can to keep from being bitten by mosquitoes.

Public Health officials began running tests on a crow found Monday and, this morning (Tuesday) they found out the bird was carrying the West Nile virus. Public health officials say West Nile is a very serious, fatal virus but was not unexpected, since it's been found in Grand Forks before. The Public Health Department says birds are common carriers of the virus.

Although west nile is now in Grand Forks, Public Health, the department in charge of mosquito control, doesn't plan on taking any extra precautions with mosquitoes.

Mosquito control supervisor Todd Hanson says they already spray as if West Nile is here because it's a virus they've encountered for the past 11 years. They urge people to take extra precautions to prevent being bitten and say the virus is more than likely in the community already. 2002 was the first year in Grand Forks County where there was a case of West Nile, and 17 people contracted the virus that year. Hanson says that two people did die from West Nile Virus and while the virus is serious, it is also preventable by limiting your chance of being bitten.

Hanson also says that not all mosquitoes are able to transmit the virus, but one species that can, culex tarsalis, made up for 59% of Tuesday's mosquito count population.

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