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Monday, September 11, 2006

West Nile found in Plainville bird

PLAINVILLE

A dead blue jay found in Plainville has tested positive for West Nile virus, state and local health officials said.

A Plainville resident spotted the bird on Sept. 6, and state officials notified the Plainville Board of Health of the positive test today. It was the 36th bird to test positive for the virus in Massachusetts this year, and the first in Norfolk County. Eighty-three birds tested positive for West Nile virus in 2005.

Donna Rheaume, spokesperson for the state Department of Public Health, stressed that people should use insect repellent to protect themselves from mosquitoes, which spread both West Nile virus and the eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus. The EEE virus killed a Middleborough boy last month.

"We want to stress prevention," Rheaume said. "Even though it is cooling off, we’re really not out of the woods until the first
frost."

-- Calvin Hennick

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