Adult Mosquito Surveillance

mosquitosurvThe District collects adult mosquito samples with carbon dioxide (dry ice) baited light traps. The samples are brought back to the District’s Lab and anesthetized, then sorted by species and sex. Pools of 10-50 like-species of mosquitoes from the same location are placed in vials and  sent to the Oregon State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab for West Nile virus testing. West Nile virus has been detected in Jackson County during the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013,2014  and 2015 mosquito seasons.

Dead Bird Surveillance

jay by kathie johnston

Jackson County Vector Control District began to collect dead crows and related birds for West Nile virus (WNv) in 2002. The samples were collected and packaged, the exact location information noted, and sent to the Oregon Public Health Laboratory in Portland, Oregon where they were tested for the presence of WNv. The district currently uses the Oregon State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for West Nile virus testing. In 2014 the District collected 6 birds, resulting in 5 birds testing positive for WNv. This program is partly funded by a grant to the Oregon Health Division by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Jackson County Vector Control District personnel working with advice from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, will arrange to collect dead birds from locations within the District and test them if WNv is suspected. The district is collecting and testing Corvids by zip code in Jackson County. When a positive bird for WNv is found in a particular zip code, no other birds will be collected from that zip. This will allow the district to switch it’s focus to the collection and testing of adult mosquitoes in that area.

If you see a dead bird

Corvids are found throughout most of Oregon. They include the American Crow, Common Raven, Western Scrub-Jay, and the Steller’s Jay. The bird most commonly found to be positive in our area has been the Western Scrub-Jay. If you find a dead bird, particularly a Scrub-Jay or other Corvid (e.g. Crow, Raven, Jay):

  • Do not touch the bird
  • Determine how long the bird has been dead. The bird must be in good condition (e.g. dead less than 24 hours)
  • Contact the District with details regarding the exact location, type of bird, and condition
  • District personnel will record all relevant dead bird reports and will arrange for pickup and laboratory testing for WNv when appropriate