West Nile found in 3 more birds

Baltimore County crows bring total in state to 109

August 10, 2002|By Maria Blackburn | Maria Blackburn,SUN STAFF

State health officials said yesterday that three dead crows in Baltimore County have tested positive for West Nile virus, bringing the total for Maryland this year to 109.

The first crow to test positive in the county this year was found in the 6300 block of Banbury Road in Anneslie. The bird was confirmed to have the virus Thursday. The other two birds, which were found in the 1200 block of N. Rolling Road in Catonsville and the 1300 block of Pine Ridge Lane in Pikesville, were confirmed to have the virus yesterday.

Of the birds that have tested positive for the virus this year, 53 were found in Montgomery County, 27 in Prince George's County, eight in Charles, seven in Anne Arundel, four in Harford, three in Howard, two in Baltimore City, two in Frederick and three in Baltimore County.

"All of these jurisdictions have shown activity of positive birds in past years," said John Hammond, a public affairs officer for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. "It was just a question of what point in time we were going to see it this year."

According to the state health department, West Nile virus has been commonly found in humans, birds and other animals in Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Until 1999, it had not been detected in the United States.

The virus spreads when mosquitoes feed on West Nile-infected birds.

This year, no Maryland resident has contracted West Nile virus in the state.

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