Dead Bird Is the First Sign of West Nile Virus Activity for the Season

May 19, 2014
Contact:  Luz Maria Rodriguez, Public Information Officer
Office:  916.405.2082 | Cell:  916.416.6337
Elk Grove, CA— The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District received confirmation today that a crow collected from South Sacramento has tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first bird to test positive and the first sign of West Nile virus in the Sacramento region for the 2014 season. “Finding the first positive bird is always significant because it provides an early warning sign for the disease,” said Gary Goodman, District Manager.  “It confirms that the virus is present, provides a good indication of where we may find positive mosquito samples and where human cases may develop later in the season” added Goodman. While this is the first indication of the virus within the District area, other counties throughout the state have already seen activity.
The public is encouraged to report dead birds by calling the California Department of Public Health hotline at 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473) or online at  Some species of birds such as crows, jays and magpies are very susceptible to the virus. Though not all birds that are reported will be picked up and tested, the reports provide valuable information and assist with mosquito surveillance and control efforts that help protect public health.
In response to the detection of WNV activity, the District will increase its mosquito trapping and surveillance in the area to find sources where mosquitoes may be breeding.
In 2013, 15 deaths and 379 human WNV cases were reported in California.
To see a map of this first WNV finding and current information about District activities, please visit Residents may also subscribe to mailing lists to receive email notifications for upcoming mosquito treatments by zip code. To sign up, go to Spray Notifications on the website.
To report a neglected swimming pool or other mosquito breeding problems, please call 1-800-429-1022 or fill out a service request online at
2014 West Nile virus activity update:
Sacramento County:  1 dead bird has tested positive for West Nile virus to date.
Yolo County:  No activity has been registered so far.

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