The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has decided the testing of dead birds is not providing the most useful information for predicting the occurrence of human West Nile disease.
Instead, the department will be relying on the sampling of mosquito pools for the presence of infected mosquitos. West Nile Virus Disease (WNV) is directly transmitted by mosquitos carrying West Nile Virus to humans through mosquito bites.
Kindly refrain from calling the Board of Health with requests for the pick-up of dead birds unless several birds are found dead on a single day on a residential lot or in a wetlands area.
Residents may dispose of dead birds found on their property by depositing the bird remains in a double plastic bag and disposing of this double plastic bag in the regular household trash.
In 2009 there were no human cases of West Nile Virus Disease in Massachusetts and the number of cases and deaths nationally were considerably lower than in the previous two years.
Despite data that would indicate that the risk of West Nile Virus Disease might be waning, the following recommendations still remain in effect for the summer of 2010 to reduce the risk of this mosquito-borne disease:
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