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The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) has confirmed its first West Nile virus (WNV) positive dead birds for the year. The two dead American Crows were collected in Cerritos (zip code 90703). So far this year, GLACVCD has reported one WNV positive mosquito sample in addition to these two dead birds. Statewide, there have been 23 WNV positive dead birds and 6 WNV positive mosquito samples reported in 2011. The public is encouraged to report dead birds to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to help with West Nile virus surveillance and control efforts because birds play an important role in maintaining and spreading the virus. After a resident has reported a dead bird, he/she will be contacted by a state employee to determine the condition of the bird and if it is suitable to be picked up for WNV testing. All dead bird reports are used for surveillance purposes and are important even if the bird is not submitted for testing. If a resident has not been contacted within 24 hours of the report, he/she may dispose of the dead bird in the trash. Proper disposal includes the use of gloves, a shovel or a plastic bag to safely place the bird in a trash bag or other waste container. Dead birds should not be frozen. There is no evidence that West Nile virus can be transmitted by the handling of dead birds, but residents should not handle dead birds with their bare hands for sanitary and other health reasons.Contact CDPH to report a dead bird by calling their toll-free hotline at 877-WNV BIRD or by visiting them online at www.westnile.ca.gov. For more information regarding this press release or other vector control topics, please contact Public Information Officer Crystal Brown at the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at (562) 758-6511 or visit www.glacvcd.org.