West Nile Virus Prevention and Control
- Avoid outside activity at dawn and dusk during the mosquito season [May to October]. This is particularly important for older people and children.
- Wear long pants and long sleeves when outside, and apply insect repellent containing Deet.
- Make sure that doors and windows have tight fitting screens and do not have holes or tears in them. Kill mosquitoes that have entered your house.
- Drain standing water on private property and clean up discarded cans, tires and containers that hold water where mosquitoes may lay their eggs. If there is a pond where mosquitoes are frequently found, stock it with mosquito eating fish called Gambusia.
- Make sure that gutters on the roof are not backing up with water. Each fall and spring clean gutters of leaves and any material that might cause water to back up in them.
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What is the Oregon West Nile surveillance program?
West Nile infection has not been found in any person in Oregon as of March 1, 2003. The Oregon Department of Health Services (DHS) maintains a statewide WNV program as part of a larger role to control insect carried diseases. Part of the program is to report WNV cases and test mosquitoes and animals they bite for WNV. Since birds, and particularly crows, can die of WNV, dead birds are being tested for the virus.
Humans, horses and birds like emus and ostriches can get encephalitis. There are testing / reporting programs for these diseases and WNV can be sorted out from the others. These routine-testing programs will help to find the virus in Oregon.
Mosquitoes throughout the state are sampled for the WNV and other viruses that cause encephalitis. Some counties have mosquito control agencies that monitor the types and numbers of mosquitoes. These agencies also may have spraying programs to control the mosquitoes.
The state has placed 200 special chicken flocks to study. The flocks are tested during the mosquito season to detect if WNV is present. If WNV is found, then a more active search is started and mosquito control programs are begun.
Dead Bird Surveillance
Oregon began testing of dead crows and related birds for WNV in 2002. Although no WNV was found that year, studying dead crows may help identify the virus if it enters the state. State agencies, private organizations and individuals cooperate in the program by reporting dead bird sightings.
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What should I do if I find a dead crow or jay?
There are many birds that can be infected by WNV, however crows and jays are the most more likely to be infected. Crows have all black feathers, black beaks and black feet. They are larger than other black birds, from 17 to 20 inches tall from the tip of the tail to tip of beak.
If you find a dead crow, jay, magpie or raven, do not touch it. Promptly call the number below to arrange for its pick up.
If you find a dead crow, jay, magpie or raven, do not touch it.
Call (541) 464-3820 or 1-(800) 234-0985