Dead Bird Tests Positive for West Nile Virus


June 23, 2011


West Nile Virus Activity Continues in Sacramento County

Elk Grove, Calif.— The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District (District) received confirmation today that an American Crow has tested positive for West Nile virus. The bird, which was found in the Arden-Arcade area of Sacramento, is the second indication of WNV activity for this season. Earlier this year the first positive bird was found in Elk Grove.  “Finding a positive bird is significant because it means that the virus is present in our area” said David Brown, District Manager.  “Dead birds provide an early indication of where positive mosquito samples may also be found. At the same time, this is also a reminder for the public to take precautions such as wearing a good insect repellent to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and decrease the risk of human cases developing later in the season.”  The hot weather of the past few days and the beginning of summer have increased the abundance of mosquitoes and increased virus activity in the state. As a response to the detection of WNV, the District will increase its mosquito trapping and surveillance in the area to find sources where mosquitoes may be breeding.


The public is encouraged to report dead birds by calling the California Department of Public Health hotline at 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473).  Some species of birds such as crows, jays and magpies are very susceptible to the virus and are more likely to die from the infection. Though not all birds that are called in will be picked up and tested, the reports provide valuable information and assist with mosquito surveillance and control efforts that help protect public health. Birds are hosts for WNV and mosquitoes transmit the virus by biting an infected bird and then biting a person or other animal.


In 2010, 6 deaths and 111 human WNV cases were reported in California.


Contact: Luz Maria Rodriguez, Public Information Officer

Office: 916.405.2082 | Cell: 916.416.6337



Practice the District D’s of Mosquito Prevention:

DRAIN standing water that may produce mosquitoes.

DAWN and DUSK are times to avoid being outdoors.

DRESS appropriately be wearing long sleeves and pants when outside.

DEFEND yourself by using an effective insect repellent.  Make sure to follow label directions!

DOOR and window screens should be in good working condition.

DISTRICT personnel are also available to address any mosquito problems. Call them at 1-800-429-1022 or visit