A seventh bird dead of West Nile virus has been found in Howard County - one of six in east Columbia this summer. The other was found in Ellicott City.
In the latest case, a blue jay was found dead Sept. 13 in the 7200 block of Talisman Lane, not far from Lake Elkhorn, in Owen Brown. The bird tested positive for West Nile virus five days later.
The county's health officer, Dr. Diane Matuszak, said she would order spraying to kill mosquitoes, but there aren't enough still around to warrant it. "We've been ready to spray had there been mosquitoes to spray. We've been watching very, very closely," she said.
Matuszak said portable traps set by state officials have not found enough mosquitoes to warrant spraying. Spraying also may not be done in rain or if nighttime temperatures fall below 55 degrees.
Anyone who finds a dead or dying bird should call the state West Nile virus hot line at 866-866- CROW.