District asks residents to watch for dead birds.

ROSEVILLE, Calif. – The first bird in the Sacramento region to test positive this year for the West Nile virus has been found in East Sacramento.

“Dead birds provide an early indication of where the virus is hiding. It is important for us to find these birds in order to increase surveillance in areas where the virus may be carried by infected mosquitoes.” said Joel Buettner, district manager of the Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District.

Experts attribute the delayed onset of mosquito and West Nile virus activity to the milder temperatures and unusual patterns of precipitation this past spring. However, they warn that with increasing West Nile virus activity in neighboring counties, it is only a matter of time before positive birds turn up in Placer.

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. Not all birds called in will be picked up and tested, but the reports provide valuable information and assist in control.

Contact: Ada Barros, Public Information Officer (916) 380-5480.