Arkansas to Begin Testing Birds for West Nile Virus

April 16, 2006 - Posted at 12:11 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) _ Tomorrow marks the start of statewide

surveillance for West Nile virus in Arkansas.

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.)