OLEAN — Cattaraugus County health officials have reported finding West Nile virus in a dead crow found earlier this summer in Olean but haven’t linked the illness to any residents.
An Erie County man who had been hospitalized with a confirmed case of West Nile virus has recovered and was released from the hospital earlier this week. The Erie County case brought to 11 the number of New York residents who have had confirmed cases of West Nile virus — including one Onondaga County man, who died from the disease. Across the country this year, 41 people have died from it — including more than 20 in Texas.
According to Dr. Kevin Watkins, Cattaraugus County public health director, the county has had confirmation from the state Health Department of a crow found in the county that was carrying the virus. The county is not trapping and identifying mosquitoes this summer as it has in the past, so it’s not known whether mosquitoes in areas of the county are carrying the disease. Local health officials assume the West Nile virus is present in mosquitoes in the county since it was confirmed in bird and mosquito samples as far back as 2005.
Besides crows, West Nile virus has been found in blue jays and blue birds. Mosquitoes that can pick up the virus from birds, can transmit it to other birds or to humans. More than 700 mosquito pools in the state have tested positive for West Nile virus.
Dr. Watkins said the crow that tested positive came from the First Street area of Olean.
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