History of West Nile in Massachusetts
From 2000-2008, Massachusetts Department of Public Health collected reports and ran tests for West Nile Virus (WNV) on dead birds in Massachusetts as 1 of several ways to monitor WNV activity across the state.
In recent years, this method has become less useful for finding the virus. Many other states have discontinued dead bird reporting and testing. Mosquito collection and testing gives the most reliable indication of current WNV activity and this is where monitoring activities will continue to be focused.
Dead birds are no longer being tested for WNV and do not need to be reported to the Board of Health office or the Laboratory at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Dead birds can be safely disposed of in the trash. Using gloves, a shovel or plastic bags covering your hands, the dead bird should be double-bagged and placed in the trash. You should then wash your hands.