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West Nile Virus FAQs - 10 Found

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I have a bird feeder [or birdbath] in my yard. Am I putting myself and healthy birds at risk of infection?

West Nile Virus is most often spread to humans from the bite of an infected mosquito. However, it’s always a good idea to follow basic hygienic procedures. Birdbaths and feeders should be washed or disinfected regularly. Wash your hands with soap and water after touching the baths/feeders. To prevent mosquitoes from breeding on your property, empty and clean birdbaths at least once a week and eliminate any other standing water in your area. Contact local health officials if you are concerned about potential mosquito breeding sites in your area.

In a natural setting, the only way that a bird can become infected with West Nile Virus is through the bite of an infected mosquito. It’s highly unlikely that a bird can get the virus simply by close association with an infected bird.

Learn more: USGS National Wildlife Heath Center, CDC West Nile Virus website

Tags: Birds, Avian Flu, Disease