Doves & West Nile Virus
West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne virus that was first detected in the United States in 1999. The majority of people and animals that are infected with WNV have no symptoms or only a mild illness, such as a fever or headache. The Arizona Game and Fish Department has put this information sheet together to inform and educate dove hunters about WNV.

All information contained on this sheet was taken from the Arizona Department of Health Services - West Nile Virus Fact Sheet. Here are some facts to keep in mind as you go out into the field:

• People become infected with WNV only from the bite of an infected mosquito. Birds (including doves) and other animals CANNOT transmit WNV to people.

• WNV is not spread by direct person-to-person or person-to-animal contact. To be fully safe, wear protective gloves when handling or cleaning your dove.

• The most severe illnesses have been seen in crows, jays, ravens and horses — NOT doves.

• Avoid standing water where mosquitos may be living. Avoid being bitten by mosquitos by using insect repellent (35% DEET) and/or wearing lightweight clothing that covers the arms and legs.

• Proper cooking kills the WNV. Consequently, there is no danger associated with eating birds that have been properly cooked.

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