OREGON COUNTY -- A Shannon County Health Department official confirmed last week that a robin from the Eminence area tested positive for the west Nile virus.
Shannon County borders Oregon County to the north.
In mid-August, the Howell County Health Department reported only the second case of the deadly disease in the state infecting a human. The first case was reported in early summer in northern Missouri.
Oregon County Health Department Administrator Shelia Russell said no human cases have been reported in Oregon County, but a horse in the county was reported infected earlier in the summer.
"The virus is now endemic to Missouri and can be carried long distances by infected birds and then spread to mosquitoes," said a state health department official. "Infected mosquitoes can then infect humans and other birds," Russell said.
Heath department officials said there are two areas that can reduce the risk of contacting the disease.
(1) Lower the mosquito population by removing their habitat. They lay their eggs in standing or slow moving water. All objects that hold water should be removed. Old tires, cans, toys and other objects that hold water allows for reproduction. Roof gutters need to be checked in the fall. Tall weeds, grass and brush also provide adult mosquitoes hiding places during the day.
(2) Mosquitoes are most active during dawn and dusk. Personal protection should include repellent that contains Deet to cover exposed skin. Never use a product on children that contains more than 10-percent Deet. Always wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, loose fitting, shirts and pants.
"The good news is that the first frost will greatly reduce the mosquito population," Russell said. "So as the season ends, clean up the items that hold water and educate your neighbors to do the same."
For more information contact the Oregon County Health Department at 417-778-7450 or 417-264-3114.