District asks residents to watch for dead birds.

ROSEVILLE, Calif. – The first bird in Placer County to test positive this year for West Nile virus has been found in Rocklin.

“Dead birds provide an early indication of where virus activity is increasing.” said Joel Buettner, general manager of the Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District.

However, public health officials have expressed concerns that the number of dead bird reports coming in from the public have decreased this year. This could affect how quickly West Nile virus hotspots are identified. “Ideally, we’d like to get an indication of West Nile virus activity before we find WNV-positive mosquitoes in an area. Finding WNV-positive dead birds helps direct our surveillance and control efforts,” states Dr. Mary Sorensen, laboratory director for the District.

The Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District urges citizens to report dead birds by calling the California Department of Public Health hotline at (877) 968-2473. Only birds suitable for testing will be picked up, but all reports provide valuable information and assist in control.

The District has also schedules round-based treatments for the early morning on August 12th. Treatment area includes:

  • Elverta area – area north of Rio Linda Blvd to Jackson Road, between Brewer Road and Locust Road, and between Pleasant Grove Rd. and El Modena Ave.

For more information, contact the Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District at (888) 768-2343 or visit www.placermosquito.org.

2011 Placer County West Nile virus activity update: 1 dead bird, 0 sentinel chickens, 5 mosquito samples, and 0 humans have tested positive for West Nile Virus to date.

Contact: Ada Barros, Public Information Officer (916) 343-0009.