Office of Communications
For more information contact:

Loretta E. Haddy, M.A., M.A., Director
Office of Communications & Legislative Affairs
West Virginia Department of health and Human Resources
Phone: 304-558-5358 Fax: 304-558-6335
Toll Free: 1-800-423-1271 e-mail:

For immediate release

Six birds test positive for West Nile

West Virginia has six counties reporting dead birds testing positive for West Nile virus to date this season: bluejay from Jackson County; grackle from Pendleton County; hawk from Marshall County; starling from Greenbrier County; robin from Hancock County; and cardinal from Kanawha County.

No human or equine cases have been identified in West Virginia for 2005. West Nile virus may be spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. As temperatures decrease, flight activity of the adult mosquito will also decrease, thus lowering the risk of West Nile virus transmission.

When outdoors during mosquito season, people can protect themselves by being properly clothed in long, loose and light colored clothing and using mosquito repellants containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always use repellants according to the manufacturer's recommendations and never apply them to faces and hands of children. In addition, mosquito populations can be reduced by removing all standing water from your property: bird baths, pet bowls, tires, pots, cans or even bottle caps.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources' Office of Laboratory Services provides testing for West Nile Virus in birds, as well as mosquitoes, equines, and humans.

For more information contact your local health department or the Division of Surveillance and Disease Control at 1-304-558-5358 or 1-800-423-1271.