Two dead birds in Westminster test positive for West Nile virus

September 10, 2002

Two dead crows found in Westminster have tested positive for the West Nile virus, bringing to 10 the number of infected birds found in Carroll this summer, county health officials said yesterday.

Larry L. Leitch, the county health officer, said these were the first positive results from birds found within the city limits of Westminster, one from Ridge Road and one from Westmoreland Street, although there had been two others in the 21158 ZIP code to the west.

Once a ZIP code has had two such results, no more birds are needed for testing - although reports of dead birds will be taken to monitor the risk of infection to humans, Leitch said.

No Carroll residents have been diagnosed with the disease, which is carried to humans by mosquitoes that contract it from birds, health officials said. In Carroll, positive results have come from three birds in the Sykesville area, two in Finksburg and one in Union Bridge. Statewide, there had been about 380 infected birds reported by the end of last month.

Residents who find dead birds with no obvious signs of trauma are asked to call the state hot line at 1-866-866-CROW.

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