ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Birds are falling dead in St. Louis, and the city health director says West Nile virus is a factor.
The virus, combined with an extremely dry summer, is causing more birds to die from starvation.
West Nile is blood-borne, however, meaning humans cannot contract the virus from birds. Mosquitoes bridge the gap between birds and humans.
"If you want to pick it up, put it in a sealed plastic bag, dispose of it in a dumpster behind your house...that's perfectly all right," said Pam Walker, St. Louis City health department director. "You don't have to panic. It's a reminder that West Nile virus is in the region and will be with us forever."
Walker says her department does not test the birds for West Nile because they are already certain the virus is in the St. Louis area.