Nile Virus and Dead Birds
What should I do if I find a dead bird?
A. Check with with your local
or state health department for instructions on reporting and
diposing of a dead bird. If you need to pick up a dead bird, or
local authorities tell you to simply dispose of it: Avoid bare-handed
contact with any dead animals, and use gloves or an inverted plastic
bag to place the bird carcass in a garbage bag and dispose of
it with your routine trash.
Do birds infected with West Nile virus die or become ill?
A. In the 1999 New York area epidemic, there was a large
die-off of American crows. Since then, West Nile virus has been
identified in more than 200 species
of birds found dead in the United States. Most of these
birds were identified through reporting of dead birds by the public.
How can I report a sighting of dead bird(s) in my area?
A. State and local health departments start collecting reports
of dead birds at different times in the year. Some wait until
the weather becomes warm before initiating their surveillance
(disease monitoring) program. For information about reporting
dead birds in your specific area, please contact your state
or local health department.
Why do some areas stop collecting dead birds?
A. Some states and jurisdictions are no longer collecting
dead birds because they have sufficiently established that the
virus is in an area, and additional testing will not reveal any
more information. Shifting resources away from testing of dead
birds allows those resources to be devoted elsewhere in surveillance