August 5, 2002
NINE MORE DEAD BIRDS TO BE SENT TO STATE LAB
HEALTH DEPARTMENT STAFF TO SET MOSQUITO TRAPS TONIGHT
Charlotte, NC – Hundreds of calls have led to the collection of a number of dead birds by the Mecklenburg County Health Department’s Public Health Pest Management (PHPM) staff.
As of this morning, nine birds are being prepared for delivery to the State lab in order to be tested for West Nile virus. Eight of the birds were collected between Friday and Sunday, just days after the Health Department learned that two more birds collected in the County had tested positive for West Nile.
So far this year, the Health Department has sent 29 birds and the brain of another bird to the State lab for testing. Three of those birds have tested positive for West Nile. The only positive cases in North Carolina so far this year have come from Mecklenburg County. Additionally, there have been no human cases of West Nile reported in North Carolina.
Today and Tuesday, Health Department staff and state environmental specialists will be trapping live mosquitoes. These samples will be sent to the State lab for species identification and virology testing. About 20 traps will be set in areas near where the infected birds were found and in areas that may attract high concentrations of mosquitoes.
Dennis Salmen, program manager for the Health Department’s Public Health Pest Management program, and environmental health specialist Mark O’Donoghue will set a trap at this location.
Those with questions or complaints about mosquitoes are asked to call the Mecklenburg County Health Department at 704-336-5101 or log onto the Health Department’s Web site at
http://www.meckhealth.org. To report dead birds, call the dead bird hotline at 704-353-0350.