St. Louis Public Radio News
2:07 pm
Mon June 23, 2003

Missouri Confirms Case of West Nile Virus in a Bird

St. Louis, Mo. – With the detection of the first confirmed case of West Nile virus in a bird in Missouri this week, state officials are gearing up to handle the mosquito-transmitted disease.

The infected bird was found near Harvester in St. Charles County. Missouri Department of Health spokesman Brian Quinn says they cannot predict if this summer will be worse than last but he believes the state is better prepared to deal with the virus.

"We'll be working very closely with local public health departments to look even more carefully for west nile virus in mosquito pools and to really heighten our sensitivity for the virus here in the state so that as we do see these early cases, we can respond to those effectively," Quinn said.

Quinn says the state of Missouri has received additional federal funding this year to expand its West Nile virus surveillance across the state.