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Each summer we have unique events happen in nature -- and because we live in densely populated areas and no longer have balanced habitat, some of these "events" turn into problems. Mosquitoes often become a problem...and once again, they are up to their old tricks...
If you haven't already, you will be hearing about West Nile Virus. So I thought you would like some facts so that you can rest assured that your love of birds is not causing the problem -- and that you might like to pass this information along to your local media and city officials so that they do NOT go into hyperdrive spraying programs that do more damage to the environment than good. In fact, you can help the situation by helping control mosquitoes -- and the virus -- in more conservative ways.
Here are the facts brought to you through the work of volunteers with the Wild Bird Feeding Association -- a trade group of companies providing birdseed and other backyard birding products. I will bring you further updates as they become available.
In the meantime, please, also be concerned not only for the potential impact for humans, but for our wildlife, too -- and take steps to remove standing water that breeds the virus-carrying mosquitos.
Basic Information on West Nile Virus
1. West Nile Virus is a public health issue with an environmental factor.
2. Dissemination and collection of information on West Nile Virus is conducted on a...
National Basis - www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm
3. States in which the West Nile Virus has been identified since 1999 - Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina. Just added in 2001 - Florida and Georgia
4. The number of mosquitoes carrying the virus is currently 10 and the number of birds is 65.
5. The major emphasis for the 2001 season is three fold.
a. Elimination of breeding sites (standing water) for mosquitoes
REMEMBER: take steps to remove standing water that breeds the virus- carrying mosquitos..and take precautions against mosquito bites because this is not the only problem they carry from host to host.
Enjoy your backyard learning lab -- learn eagerly, act responsibly and enjoy in relative safety!
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