Mid-Southerners are on the lookout for the West Nile Virus and they're tracking dead blue jays.
But some residents are concerned because the Shelby County Health Department told them it was too late to test the birds they found.
Blue Jays are a common sight in the Memphis neighborhoods where Karen Kessler lives. Recently she found two dead blue jays in her yard. She ended up throwing away the second Blue Jay because the Health Department said by the time she called it was too late to test the bird.
Louis Lacey with the Health Department says people need to preserve the birds quickly, and be patient with the department. "As soon as you find the bird, we ask that you put it in a plastic bag and either put ice on it or freeze the bird until our technicians can come by and remove it," says Lacey.
So far, 5 birds in 4 zip codes tested positive for the virus. After three birds test positive in a zip code, the virus is confirmed to be in that area, so no more birds need to be tested and you need to dispose of the dead bird.
The Health Department suggests picking up the bird with a plastic bag or shovel and throwing it away with your garbage.