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Second bird found with West Nile virus in Grand Forks

GRAND FORKS - Grand Forks Public Health has found a second bird dead of West Nile virus, and several groups of mosquitoes have also tested positive, mosquito control supervisor Todd Hanson said Thursday.

He said he expects to find more in the days ahead.

Culex tarsalis, the most common kind of mosquito that harbors the disease and passes it on to humans, birds and other animals, usually stick to the same area where they hatch, he said, and birds often carry the disease to other culex populations.

The first dead bird to test positive was found Monday. The second bird was found Wednesday.

The Public Health Department also tests culex mosquitoes captured in traps. Several groups throughout the city have tested positive, with two that tested positive Thursday, Hanson said.

West Nile virus is generally harmless to most, and only 1 to 5 percent of those infected even show symptoms, such as fevers, headaches, joint pain and diarrhea. It can be deadly for less than 1 percent, leading to symptoms such as inflammation of the brain.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Minnesota has also reported a case of West Nile virus infection in nonhumans, and South Dakota has reported a human infection as of Tuesday, the latest data available.

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