Another West Nile bird found, this time in Pelham

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 6, 2002

After a dead bird was found in Pelham that tested positive for the West Nile Virus, city officials decided to take steps to educate the public.

The bird, according to Bill Banks, an environmentalist with the Shelby County Health Department, is one of &uot;about six birds&uot; which have tested positive for West Nile in Shelby County at presstime, Tuesday morning.

He said most of the birds have been found in the Alabaster area. On July 25, only one bird had tested positive in county.

No signs of the disease have been found in humans in the area; however, nationwide, 88 people have become infected with the disease. Four people have died in Louisiana.

&uot;They have kept me busy running around the county picking up birds,&uot; Banks said.

Donna Treslar, assistant to Mayor Bobby Hayes, said city officials met with members of Shelby County’s Health Department shortly after finding the bird in Pelham.

At the suggestion of health officials, she said they decided to set a public information meeting Aug. 19 at city hall.

&uot;We had already discussed starting some sort of program before finding the bird,&uot; Treslar said. &uot;But (the public information meeting) was a result of our meeting with the health department.&uot;

The meeting, she said, will be at 7 p.m. and will be led by Banks who will offer suggestions on control.

Free larvicide tablets, which are used to kill the mosquitoes which spread the disease, will be available to local residents. The tablets can be used in garden aquatic pools, retention ponds and areas that do not drain well.

Banks said he will speak for about five minutes and then take questions from residents. Banks said residents, though, should not overreact to the news.

&uot;The best thing you can do is to just be cautious and wear mosquito repellent,&uot; he said