Dead Birds carry West Nile Virus - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Dead Birds carry West Nile Virus

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KENNEWICK,Wa.,--The West Nile Virus can kill you. But state health officials estimate only 1 in 5 people that are infected will have mild symptoms.  Even fewer, about 1 in 150 people infected, will show more severe symptoms.

If you see a dead bird, leave it alone. Mosquitos are known as 'preferential biters: meaning they target one type of animal over another. Birds are the feast of choice for Mosquitos. And the more birds with the virus could possibly spread to other animals. Benton Franklin Health Department says Mosquito bites should be taken seriously.

"We have noticed it in the pacific northwest," said BFHD Environmental Health Specialist Susan Shelton. We want people to realize that they have to take precautions from mosquito bites."

Shelton says that if you see a dead Crow, Raven, or Magpies, call the Benton Franklin Dead Bird reporting line. These are three types of birds that are most likely to die having the West Nile virus. That number is 509.582.7761 extension 252. 

Here are the phone numbers the health departments in Benton Franklin and Yakima Counties.

  • Benton Franklin Health District.- 509.943.2614
  • Benton Franklin Dead Bird Reporting Line- 509.582.7761 x252
  • Yakima Health District.- 509.575.4040 or 800.535.5016