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You can help the Health Department track West Nile in Oneida CountySubmitted: 07/19/2013
You can help the Health Department track West Nile in Oneida County
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

RHINELANDER - A dead crow in Woodruff tested positive for West Nile Virus. It's the first positive test in Oneida County this year.

Mosquitoes that bite a sick bird can transmit the virus to people. Eighty percent of people with the virus never show any signs. But if you do, you'll have symptoms like fever, muscle aches and headache.

People with suppressed immune systems, the elderly and the very young are the highest risk for serious complications.

"If a person really gets sick from the West Nile Virus then they've got central nervous system problems. And that means Encephalitis and problems where they're going to end up having brain swelling, going into a coma, or paralysis, or something else serious. It could be fatal," says Charlotte Ahrens, an Oneida County Public Health Nurse.

Mosquitoes are just a part of life here in the Northwoods. But the Oneida County Health Department says people living where West Nile has been found should try to avoid getting bitten. Prevention goes beyond using bug spray.

"They really should look around at their gutters, and planters and their bird baths and make sure they're emptied out and that you don't have stagnant water sitting around. Because these mosquitoes are the type that really love that stagnant water that's sitting around for breeding areas," says Ahrens.

It's also really important to report any dead crows, blue jays or ravens. Call 1-800-433-1610.

The state will test the birds. That helps them keep track of where the virus is moving.



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ANTIGO - You won't find any pesticide sprays at one Antigo apple orchard, but you will find pigs.

Grandview Orchard and Nursery Stock sits on the highest point in Langlade County.

Lisa Rettinger bought the orchard two years ago with the plan to manage it naturally.

She's still in the transition process of going organic, but she doesn't use chemical pesticides.

Orchard pigs do some grazing and eat wind-fallen apples.

Solo cups and milks gallons make for moth and maggot traps.

Lisa does most of the work by herself every day; much of her work is observation of the orchard.

"Going through the orchard, what is going on, monitoring pest traps, and looking at the leaves, looking at the whole orchard," says Lisa.

Grandview's season will be done at the end of the month.

You can find Lisa at the Wausau Indoor Farmers Market through the winter.

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