Another dead bird testing positive for West Nile Virus has been discovered in Culver City.
The Los Angeles County West Vector & Vector-Borne Disease Control District based in Culver City announced the discovery on Sept. 18. It is the eighth bird that has now tested positive for the virus in Culver City (see attached PDF to the right of this article with a breakdown of neighborhoods and zip codes).
Culver City residents who discover a dead bird should call 1-877-WNV BIRD (1-877-968-2473). Dead birds must be less than 24 hours old to be able to test them for West Nile virus. If the bird is rigid or decomposed, it cannot be used for testing.
According to the Disease Control District, birds that are not in a condition to be tested can be disposed of in your normal weekly trash by taking the following steps:
- Take plastic garbage bag and insert your hand in the open end.
- Grab the dead bird and pull it into the garbage bag using an “outside-to-inside” pulling motion.
- Tie off the bag with the bird inside and place it in your regular trash for disposal.
The District does not pick up and disposed of dead birds that are not in a condition to be tested. Animal Control should be called for disposal of dead birds that are too old to be tested, if the personal disposal method listed above is not used.
According to the Disease Control Unit, West Nile Virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they first feed on birds that carry the virus, and then bite a human or animal.
The Disease Control Unit says the City is not required to take any specific action but recommends that people take precautions if they are walking or sitting outside at dawn or dusk to protect themselves from being bitten by infected mosquitoes.
Residents can protect themselves from WNV by doing the following:
- DEET - Apply insect repellent according to the label. Repellents containing DEET, picaradin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus are the longest lasting and most effective. Repellents keep the mosquitoes from biting you.
- DAWN AND DUSK - Mosquitoes that carry WNV primarily bite in the early morning and evening so it is important to wear repellent at this time.
- MOSQUITO PROOF YOUR HOME - Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes.
- DRAIN - Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flowerpots, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls. Ensure that swimming pools, spas, and ponds are properly maintained. If you have an ornamental pond, use mosquito fish. You can make an arrangement to pick up free mosquito fish at the District by calling 310-915-7370.
The public is encouraged to report dead birds to help with West Nile virus surveillance and control efforts. Dead birds should be reported to the toll-free hotline at 877-WNV BIRD (877-968-2473).
Symptoms of West Nile virus:
People infected with WNV can experience a variety of symptoms that may include: no symptoms, West Nile Fever, or West Nile Neuroinvasive disease. Symptoms usually occur 2-15 days after infection.
Symptoms of “West Nile Fever” can include:
- Headaches (often severe migraines)
- High fever
- Tiredness and body aches
- A skin rash and swollen lymph glands
These symptoms may last from several days to several weeks.
Symptoms of “West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease” can include:
- Severe Headache
- High Fever
- Stiff neck
- Tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness
- Coma: This form of the disease can lead to long lasting and/or permanent damage to the brain.