West Nile confirmed in birds in Sedalia, Kansas City

Friday, July 11, 2003

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Health officials have confirmed West Nile virus cases in several birds in western Missouri.

The Kansas City Health Department said in a release Thursday that "the virus is probably present in all areas of the city."

Officials said birds tested positive in Platte County in northwestern Kansas City, and in the southeastern part of the city.

A day earlier, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed the first West Nile case in a Sedalia bird.

No human cases of West Nile have been reported in Missouri this year and only two -- one in Texas and one in South Carolina -- have been reported nationwide.

Missouri's first reported human case last year occurred July 31, said Alyce Turner, with the Missouri health department's vector-borne disease program. Turner said two-thirds of Missouri's 168 human cases last year were reported in the month of August, with the last case reported on October 12.

Seven people died of the mosquito-borne disease in Missouri last year.

Turner said health officials capture and test mosquitoes and study cases in birds to help predict where West Nile could be a problem in upcoming months.

Last year, 277 birds in 82 Missouri counties were found with the virus.

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