The cold temperatures helped provide another benefit, a reduced risk of West Nile Virus in the area. Todd Hanson with Grand Forks public health says the West Nile risk has been low since the end of September.
Connie Whittier gave little thought to the dead blackbirds that began littering her backyard and neighborhood. But she was given a painful reminder that dead birds can be a warning sign of the presence of West Nile virus, which can cause serious and even life-threatening infections in people.
Costs in the fight against West Nile are adding up. The city is working not only to bring down the number of the bugs but also to prevent the spread of the West Nile virus which as been found in birds and mosquitoes.
State health officials say a Murray County man has Minnesota's first case of the West Nile virus this year. Experts say residents of western and central counties are at greatest risk because they typically have the greatest number of mosquitoes that carry the virus.
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