Chippewa Valley area has state's first West Nile cases of year
Wisconsin has recorded its first animal cases of West Nile disease this spring.
State health officials said a horse in Chippewa County and a blue jay in Eau Claire County have tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus.
That's an early warning for people to heed.
Last year, 12 humans in Wisconsin got sick from West Nile and 17 horses and 47 birds also tested positive.
Officials said the blue jay was already dead when it was found last month.
The horse's owner diagnosed the disease on June 11, and the animal died nine days later.
The recent flooding brought an onslaught of mosquitoes and that's got health officials concerned about people getting sick.
You can avoid your exposure to mosquitoes and to West Nile by staying indoors at dusk-and-dawn, wearing repellent and reducing the standing water on your property.
Horse owners are urged to contact their veterinarians at the first sign of West Nile.
If you see a dead bird, you're asked to call a state hotline so it can be tested. That toll-free number is 800.433.1610.