Beginning June 1, 2012, Loup Basin Public Health Department began taking reports and collect dead birds of ALL species for West Nile Virus (WNV) testing. Birds to be tested must be dead within 24 hours and in good condition. Reported birds that qualify are collected and submitted for testing by the Veterinary Diagnostic Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
If you find a dead bird, please call Loup Basin Public Health Department at 308-346-5795 on Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to report it. People have an extremely low risk of contracting WNV through the touching of dead birds, but please use precautions when handling them. Bare hand contact should be avoided – please wear gloves or use a shovel. If you find a bird in good condition and dead less than 24 hours, it should be double-bagged in plastic bags and frozen immediately. Call us with your report and we will direct you to the collection location.
WNV is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. In turn, the mosquito can pass the virus to humans. The virus has been found in all 93 of Nebraska’s counties in mosquito, bird, horse or human populations.
With our frequent rainfalls and spending more time outside, it is important to take precautions to reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes. Limit your time outdoors, especially around dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are more active. If there is a need to go outdoors during these times, wear lightweight long sleeves and pants. Also, be sure to wear insect repellent which contains DEET, picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or IR3535. These repellents are all recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For more information please call Loup Basin Public Health Department at 308-346-5795