The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is urging Delawareans to report sick or dead birds that may be infected with West Nile Virus. The West Nile Virus is mosquito-borne and is extremely harmful to humans.
The DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section specifies that if individual crows, blue jays, cardinals, owls, hawks, or robins are found, they should be reported immediately if their cause of death is not obvious. This also goes for large clusters of any other species of birds if found dead for less than 24 hours.
The Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Poultry and Animal Health Lab plans on testing initial specimens gathered by the Mosquito Control section. They will then be sent to the Delaware Public Health Laboratory for virus testing.
“The collecting and testing of virus-suspect wild birds may continue through the end of September”, said Dr. William Meredith, Delaware’s Mosquito Control Administrator.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were 712 reported cases of human infection of the West Nile Virus in 2011. Out of the 712 infected, 43 people died.
The DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section is asking the public to be aware of any birds that seem to be dead from unknown causes beginning June 4th.