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Animal Issues


Exposure to sick animals can become a public health concern. Certain animal species carry communicable disease, and to avoid becoming ill you should avoid contact. Bats, dogs, cats, and birds are good examples of animals to be cautious around. 
To learn more about animal communicable disease follow this link: Diseases That Can Spread Between Animals and People

Rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease. It can spread to people and pets if they are bitten or scratched by a rabid animal. In the United States, rabies is mostly found in wild animals like bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes. However, dogs can still carry rabies, and most rabies deaths in people around the world are caused by dog bites.

Bats: If you’ve been in contact with a bat or have been in the same room with a bat, call the Vernon County Health Department during business hours, they will help determine if the bat will need to be tested for the rabies virus. The bat should be double bagged, and then stored between 35°-46° until contact is made with the Health Department.

Dog and Cat
bites need to be reported immediately to the Vernon County Sheriff’s Department at 608-637-2123.

West Nile Virusmosquitoe
West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne disease that is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people. Best way to prevent West Nile is to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, treat clothing and gear, and take steps to control mosquitoes indoors and outdoors. 

Take steps to control mosquitoes indoors and outdoors.

  • Use screens on windows and doors. Repair holes in screens to keep mosquitoes outdoors.
  • Use air conditioning, if available.
  • Stop mosquitoes from laying eggs in or near water.
    • Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots, or trash containers.
    • Check for water-holding containers both indoors and outdoors including old tires.

Dead Birds:  West Nile virus has been detected in variety of bird species. Some infected birds, especially crows and jays, are known to get sick and die from the infection. Reporting and testing of dead birds are one way to check for the presence of West Nile virus in the environment.
Report dead bird sightings for West Nile Virus testing. Call 1-800-433-1610 April through September for more information on how to do this.

Tickborne Diseases tick
These include:
Lyme Disease
Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiosis
Powassan Virus
Borrelia Miyamotoi
To learn more about ticks, follow this link:
Ticks 101 in Wisconsin: What you Need to Know