Dead Bird Tests Positive for West Nile Virus in Marin County

Release date: 
Jun 14

Cotati, CA -The Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District (MSMVCD) has confirmed the first dead bird infected with West Nile virus (WNV) in Marin and Sonoma counties for 2013. The bird, an American crow, was found near Redwood Road and Floribel Avenue in San Anselmo. The bird was submitted for testing on May 29th, 2013.

"The positive dead bird is a reminder that West Nile virus continues to be a threat, not only to humans but also to wildlife, such as birds," said Nizza Sequeira, Public Relations Director for MSMVCD.

Residents are urged to take the threat of WNV seriously and continue to take the necessary steps to protect themselves from mosquitoes and mosquito bites. Mosquito problems can be reported online at or by calling 1.800.231.3236.

Simple ways to help reduce the threat of WNV: 

  • Eliminate standing water in rain barrels, old tires, buckets, kiddie pools or any other item that can hold water for more than a week.
  • Report mosquito problems, neglected swimming pools, or any area that could be producing mosquitoes.
  • Stock backyard ponds or other permanent water features with mosquitofish. The fish are free and can be delivered or simply picked up at the District office.
  • Report dead birds to the West Nile virus hotline at 1-877-968-2473.
  • Wear mosquito repellent when outdoors at dusk and dawn. Use a repellent containing one of the following active ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. 

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the disease to humans and other animals.

Less than 1% of people (about 1 in 150) infected with WNV develop serious illness. These cases may last for extended periods of time, result in permanent neurological damage and may be fatal.  

Approximately 20% of people (about 1 in 5) infected with WNV experience mild symptoms that may include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, rashes, swollen lymph nodes and vomiting. Approximately 80% of people (about 4 out of 5) infected with WNV do not show any symptoms.

For more information or to report mosquito problems contact the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District at 1.800.231.3236 or

Report dead birds to the West Nile virus Hotline at 1-877-968-2473 or online at