The Crystal Parrot - The West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes to humans and birds alike. The number of incidents reported by the state of Massachusetts seems to increase each year. Your pet bird is susceptible to this deadly disease and it is important that you take proper precautions to protect your pets. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is an appropriate adage when dealing with West Nile Virus. Inspect your yard for any standing water that makes a great breeding ground for mosquitoes. This could include any children's toys such as buckets, plastic play houses and wading pools. Don't forget to make sure that your gutters are not harboring any standing water! Also check for any empty planters and even recycling bins and trash cans. With no standing water available the mosquitoes have no place to lay their eggs, therefore stopping the lifecycle before it begins! With the volume of rain we have been experiencing the past few months, you may be surprised where you will find standing water on your property! If you have bird baths in your yard it is recommended that the water in them be changed every 48 hours.
While performing your "prevention inspection" take a few minutes t look at your screens and windows. The windows should close tightly and the screens should be free of holes! Do not thing your bird or any other pet is safe from West Nile Virus just because they are inside! It takes only a second for 1 mosquito to fly in an open door and only a second to bite you or your bird! And that one mosquito and the 1 second is all it takes for possible infection!
It is not recommended to have your bird outside at all! While treatment is available for humans who contract West Nile Virus, currently there is no treatment for birds. And birds usually do not exhibit symptoms until the last stage of sickness which is inflammation of the brain. It is not long after this that death occurs.
Please do all that you can to protect yourself and your pets from this deadly virus. What you may think is a "fun" outing with your bird, could turn out to be deadly for your feathered friend!