A dead magpie tested positive for West Nile Virus for the first time this season. The magpie was found dead on June 4 in Fremont County near Colorado Springs and reported as having the virus by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment June 17.
Currently, 18 bird specimens have been submitted for testing from Larimer County. Ten specimens tested negative and eight are still pending.
Go to www.fightthebitecolorado.com to see images and descriptions of birds eligible for testing.
“Now that we know mosquitoes are active in Colorado, it is especially important for residents to take the necessary actions to protect themselves from bites,” said Dr. Adrienne Lebailly, M.D., health department director, in a press release.
Necessary criteria to test a dead bird:
1. The bird must be a member of the corvid family (crows, ravens, magpies and jays).
2. The bird must have been dead less than 48 hours.
3. An exact location of where the bird was found is available.
4. Birds that are dried out, smelly or infested with maggots cannot be tested.
Dr. Adrienne Lebailly, M.D., health department director suggests using insect repellents with DEET to protect from infectious mosquito bites.
DEET product labels may include the following:
* Do not apply over cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
* Do not apply to hands or near eyes and mouth of young children.
* Do not allow young children to apply this product.
* Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and/or clothing.
* Do not use under clothing.
* Avoid over-application of this product.
* After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.
* Wash treated clothing before wearing it again.
* Use of this product may cause skin reactions in rare cases.