Skip navigation
Skip Navigation LinksDPH Home > DEHS Home > FAQs > West Nile Virus and Birds FAQs

West Nile Virus and Birds FAQs

1.  Do birds infected with West Nile Virus die or become ill?

In the 1999 New York area epidemic, there was a large die-off of American crows. West Nile Virus has been identified in more than 70 species of birds found dead in the United States. Most of these birds were identified through reporting of dead birds by the public.

Top of page

2.  Can you get West Nile Virus directly from birds?

There is no evidence that a person can get the virus from handling live or dead infected birds. However, persons should avoid barehanded contact when handling any dead animals and use or double plastic bags to place the carcass in a garbage can.

Top of page

3.  How can I report a sighting of dead bird(s) in my area?

If you find a dead bird, particularly a crow or other corvid (e.g., jay, magpie, raven, etc.), please call the number below promptly. The bird must be dead no more than 24 hours to enable testing for West Nile Virus. Do not touch the bird. Department of Health Services will record all dead bird reports and will arrange for pickup and laboratory testing for West Nile Virus when appropriate.

(Information on this page obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

For West Nile Virus information updates call toll free: 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473)
WestNile.ca.gov

Centers for Disease Control information on West Nile Virus

Top of page





Get Adobe Reader