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I have a bird feeder (or birdbath) in my yard. Am I putting myself and healthy birds at risk of West Nile Virus infection?

West Nile Virus is most often spread to humans from the bite of an infected mosquito. However, it’s always a good idea to follow basic hygienic procedures. Birdbaths and feeders should be washed or disinfected regularly. Wash your hands with soap and water after touching the baths/feeders.

To prevent mosquitoes from breeding on your property, empty and clean birdbaths at least once a week and eliminate any other standing water in your area. Contact local health officials if you are concerned about potential mosquito breeding sites in your area.

In a natural setting, the only way that a bird can become infected with West Nile Virus is through the bite of an infected mosquito. It’s highly unlikely that a bird can get the virus simply by close association with an infected bird. 

Learn more: Vector-Borne Diseases