West Nile In Leewood?
(by Greg Bellan)
While walking our dog lately, my wife and I have run across a couple of dead birds laying on sidewalks or in the grass. With all the talk of West Nile in the news, we decided to make a couple of phone calls. I first called the Police Department - Animal Control Division. I was then connected directly with the Health Department. While they are no longer taking birds for testing, they are taking LOCATION of dead birds in the area. If you would like to report a location of a dead bird in the area, please call 703.246.2300. The bird in question must meet two criterion:
In other words, if you find a bird in one of the common areas it won't work for reporting purposes, but if you've got one in the backyard please report it. The officer that I spoke to said to simply discard the bird in a plastic bag or shoebox with the normal trash pickup.
- It must not have any signs of "trauma", i.e. blood, broken wings/legs, etc.
- It must have a specific address/location.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Human illness from West Nile virus is rare, even in areas where the virus has been reported. The chance that any one person is going to become ill from a mosquito bite is low." But that's not to say that you shouldn't be careful when you and your children are out.
Tips For Preventing West Nile
- >Apply insect repellent when you're outdoors.
- >When possible, wear long-sleeved clothes and long pants. If you spray your clothing, there is no need to spray repellent on the skin under your clothing.
- >Consider staying indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening, which are peak mosquito biting times.
- >Limit the number of places available for mosquitos to lay their eggs by eliminating standing water sources from around your home.
Other West Nile Resources
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