Authorities say first West Nile case discovered in South Dakota

The Associated Press

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (July 28, 2002 10:27 a.m. EDT) - A dead crow was found infected with the West Nile virus in South Dakota, the farthest west the disease has been detected, officials said Friday.

The bird was found Monday in Aberdeen in northeastern South Dakota, said Dr. Lon Kightlinger, state epidemiologist. The virus has now been detected in 32 states and the District of Columbia.

The virus is transmitted by mosquitos. Since its detection in New York City in 1999, more than 150 people have been infected with the virus and 18 have died nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The virus has spread south and west over the past three years. Authorities advise people to use mosquito repellent and wear long-sleeved clothes

Mosquito Alert issued at White House: West Nile infected bird found dead on grounds

 DRUDGE REPORT  SUNDAY JULY 28, 2002 17:09:37 ET 

A mosquito alert has been issued at the White House -- after a dead bird discovered on the mansion's grounds tests positive for West Nile virus.

"Preliminary tests show the presence of West Nile," a health official said this weekend of the decomposing crow found by the Secret Service near a fountain on the South Lawn. "Mosquitoes spread the disease, all parties in the area should be on guard."

"The White House grounds are constantly sprayed for mosquitoes, I would put this low on the list of concerns," a Bush insider told the DRUDGE REPORT late Sunday.

The insider scoffed at talk among low-ranking staffers that someone may have planted an infected bird on the White House grounds as a terrorist act.

"No one here is taking that seriously. It is my understanding that dozens of sick [West Nile] birds are showing up all over northwest [Washington]."

But one White House staffer who contacted the DRUDGE REPORT was less confident.

"More people died last year from this thing than all who died from the anthrax outbreak! Hell, I'm worried."

West Nile has killed 18 people since its appearance in the United States in 1999, and caused notable infections in 161, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Infected birds or mosquitoes have appeared in 28 states so far this year.

In the average healthy person the virus causes no symptoms, or perhaps a vaguely flu-like feeling. But for the elderly, the disease can cause encephalitis or meningitis -- inflammations of the brain and spinal cord.

Local state officials report hundreds of calls a day from concerned citizens who find dead birds, fearing the birds may be infected with West Nile.

Filed By Matt Drudge
Reports are moved when circumstances warrant for updates
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Centers for Disease Control West Nile virus pag

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