West Nile Virus

Bird Testing

The Cook County Department of Public Health collects and submits birds to test for West Nile Virus. If you see a dead bird, you can contact Cook County Department of Public Health at 708-633-8025. Birds that are being reported for testing must meet the following criteria:
  • Birds cannot be dead for more than 24 hours and must be in good condition (i.e. no signs of attack, decay, or road kill).
  • Crows must be at least 12 inches long.
  • Perching birds are the only ones being collected (Crows, Blue Jays, Grackles, Robins, Cardinals, Sparrows, Starlings and Finches).

Protect Yourself

The best way to protect yourself is to prevent mosquitoes from biting you. Here are some tips to help protect yourself:
  • Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, if possible. This is when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Clean roof gutters and remove debris that may prevent drainage of rainwater.
  • Do not allow water to stand and stagnate in birdbaths, child pools, buckets and other water holding containers.
  • Fix any holes in your screens and make sure they are tightly attached to all doors and windows.
  • If you must be outdoors when mosquitoes are active, wear long sleeve shirt and long pants.
  • Keep swimming pools clean and properly chlorinated; remove standing water from pool covers.
  • Take special care to cover up the arms and legs of children playing outdoors. When taking a baby outside, cover the playpen or stroller with mosquito netting.
  • Use a mosquito repellent that contains DEET. Avoid using repellents with DEET concentrations above 10 - 15% for children and 30 - 35% for adults. Always follow the directions on the label. Reapply as necessary.
For more information, visit the Cook County Public Health Website.