Birds The First Victims Of West Nile Virus

West Nile virus (WNV) is unique in that it does kill some of the birds that become infected, thus the reporting and testing of dead birds provide a unique way to look for WNV.

Birds that appear to be most severely affected are crows and blue-jays (members of the corvidae family).*

Since the original 1999 outbreak in New York City, the finding of dead birds that test positive for WNV has always preceded human cases of WN virus and is the best early detection method for the presence of WNV.

By reporting dead bird sightings, you can help the Mississippi Department of Health in its surveillance efforts.

How to report dead birds:

*If it is a blue jay or a crow that you report, the MSDH will arrange to have the bird submitted for testing through the local health department. You will receive further instructions when you fill out the report sheet.