Arkansas to Begin Testing Birds for West Nile Virus

April 15, 2006 - Posted at 12:37 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) _ Arkansas health officials begin their

statewide surveillance for West Nile virus Monday. The virus is

typically spread from birds to mosquitoes to other animals,

including humans. The surveillance will include testing dead crows,

bluejays, hawks, owls and robins. The public is asked to bring dead

birds to a local health department office for testing. State health

officials say always use rubber gloves when handling a dead bird.

Last year, Arkansas had 28 confirmed human cases of West Nile

infection that resulted in three deaths. Symptoms of infection

include fever, headache, rash and muscle aches.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)