Ogle County Health Department staff provide education and information on prevention of vector borne illness. Vectors are insects, ticks, rats, mice, birds and other animals that transmit disease-producing organisms to humans. We also conduct site investigations and testing of dead birds if appropriate. In addition, we monitor and test mosquito traps throughout Ogle County.
Bird Collection - West Nile Virus (WNV)
Collecting and testing dead birds is an important component of the West Nile Virus surveillance program. West Nile Virus generally appears in birds and mosquitoes before it is transmitted to humans; therefore, monitoring bird populations helps predict when and where humans will be at risk for West Nile Virus infections as well as where and when additional precautions and control measures should be taken.
Results of these tests help us determine the extent of West Nile Virus activity. Because the virus generally appears and grows in Illinois bird and mosquito populations before it is transmitted to humans, monitoring bird and mosquito populations helps us predict when and where humans will be at risk for West Nile Virus infection as well as where and when additional precautions and control measures should be taken. While many health departments, mosquito abatement districts and other agencies collect and test mosquitoes, we ask the public for help with the collection of dead birds.
From May-October, if you find a dead bird that meets the following requirements, please contact Ogle County Health Department at (815) 562-6976. OCHD is authorized to send 2-5 birds per year to IDPH for West Nile Virus testing. It is important that the following requirements are met:
- The bird is dead, but the carcass is in good condition. Birds should be dead no more than about 48 hours prior to collection, and should not show signs of advanced decomposition (maggots, strong odor, dried or deflated eyes).
- The bird shows no signs of causes other than disease. Birds with obvious injuries such as wounds or missing parts should not be submitted for testing. Likewise, crushed carcasses and birds found along roadways are not acceptable.
- The bird must be one that is acceptable for testing. Some acceptable species are crows, blue jays, grackles, starlings, robins, cardinals, sparrows, finches, hawks or owls. Birds that will not be accepted include pigeons, ducks, geese, chickens, or other large birds and endangered species.
If a bird meets these conditions, please call Ogle County Health Department at (815) 562-6976.
If the following requirements are not met, if it is possible, please leave the bird alone with the ongoing situation with Avian Flu. If it must be discarded, please wear the appropriate PPE and discard of appropriately. For more information on Avian Flu, visit IDPH Avian Influenza (Bird Flu).
Mosquitoes - West Nile Virus (WNV)
The West Nile Virus (WNV) surveillance program is a component of the Division of Environmental Health which is funded by the Vector Control and Surveillance Grant provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The Division of Environmental Health conducts surveillance activities by operating gravid traps design to capture WNV positive Culex mosquitoes throughout Ogle County. Surveillance activities begin late spring and continues until late full. Mosquitoes are collected twice a week and regularly tested for WNV. Past and present WNV surveillance data can be found here.
Ticks are found in and around wooded areas or areas with tall grass, brush, or other vegetation, ticks will attach themselves to hosts, including people, and begin to feed. Tick bites have the potential to transmit diseases, but not all bites will cause illness. In fact, of the number of tick species in Illinois, only a few bite and transmit diseases to people. However, as tick-borne diseases become more common, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it's important to know how to protect against ticks bites, how to remove a tick, and recognize symptoms of tick-borne diseases.
General Tick Information
Common Ticks in Illinois
Find the Right Repellent for You
Lyme Disease Information
Fight the Bite - 4 Steps of Protection