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Bird tests positive for West Nile

Brookhaven officials are stepping up mosquito spraying effortsand encouraging citizens to take precautions after a dead birdtested positive for the West Nile virus.

Mayor Bob Massengill said Tuesday he received health departmentnotice that a dead bird found in the city had tested positive forthe virus. Officials did not identify the exact location where thedead bird was found.

“We don’t want to alarm people, but we feel people need to beaware of this,” Massengill said.

The mayor indicated the city will increase spraying effortswhenever possible. He said it is ineffective to spray during rainyperiods.

“We will spray every evening we possibly can,” Massengillsaid.

Massengill said citizens should use mosquito spray whenever theyare outdoors. Also, he urged them to check around their homes andeliminate any places that could hold water and serve as mosquitobreeding grounds.

Ward Five resident D.W. Maxwell, who found the dead bird thattested positive, said citizens should take any dead bird they findto the health department for testing. Ward Five Alderman Tom Smithsaid if residents will call him, he will come and take the deadbirds to the proper authorities.

Maxwell agreed with Massengill on the need to reducepossibilities for mosquito breeding grounds.

“People need to be a little more aware of what’s creatingmosquitoes around their houses,” Maxwell said.