Health Officials Determine Heat Wave Killed Birds
Millburn determines West Nile virus not involved in deaths, warns of mosquito population.
Millburn's Heath Department has determined a large number of dead birds in town last week were not the result of the deadly West Nile virus, but were probably caused by the recent heat wave.
Health Officer Lou Anello explained humans cannot get the virus from a dead bird if it’s infected, only from an infected mosquito.
"It's not the dead birds residents should worry about," animal control officer Joe Bielski said. "Residents should be concerned with stagnant water where mosquitoes tend to breed."
"Basically what we are trying to do is control the mosquito population," Anello said. The Essex County Mosquito Commission will go out and spray if [people] contact them, Anello said. He encouraged residents to call the commission at (973) 239-3366 to help reduce the mosquito population.
Officials said the number of the dead birds is not unusual for this time of year.
Although, residents have been seeing dead birds throughout town, officials cannot confirm if the birds are infected unless tested four to six hours after death.
While no infected birds have been found in Essex County, four birds have tested positive for West Nile virus, state Department of Health officials said. One bird was found in Burlington County, two in Monmouth County and one in Morris County.
The state confirmed there have been no incidents of the virus affecting humans in New Jersey since last year's first infection was confirmed.
If any more dead birds are found, residents should dispose of them in a bag in their own trash can.