(Effective January 2007)


Please note the following procedures for addressing bird carcasses on the Tulane campus.  Currently, there is no regulatory surveillance program in Orleans or St. Tammany parishes for West Nile Virus (WNV) or Avian Influenza Virus (H5N1) that involves collection and testing of dead birds.

Carcasses found on campus should be discarded in regular trash using Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations.  CDC recommends use of gloves or inverted double bag for picking up single dead birds. 

Additional personal protective equipment may be warranted if collecting a large number of dead birds, if the dead birds are in a confined indoor space, the bird is in a wet environment or where splashing or aerosolization could occur.  Please contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) for additional information where additional personal protective equipment is needed or see the CDC website    

The information below is taken from the CDC website. Please contact OEHS at 988-5486 (TUHSC) or 865-5307 (Uptown campus) if there are questions or if assistance is needed.

General Precautions for Collection of Single Dead Birds
(These precautions are applicable to employees as well as the general public)

When collecting dead birds, the risk of infection from WNV, H5N1, or any other pathogen may be eliminated by avoiding contamination of mucous membranes, eyes, and skin by material from the birds. This can be accomplished by eliminating any direct contact with dead birds via use of the following safety precautions:

  • When picking up any dead bird, wear disposable impermeable gloves and place it directly into a plastic bag. Gloves should be changed if torn or otherwise damaged. If gloves are not available, use an inverted double–plastic bag technique for picking up carcasses or use a shovel to scoop the carcass into a plastic bag.
  • In situations in which the bird carcass is in a wet environment or in other situations in which splashing or aerosolization of viral particles is likely to occur during disposal, safety goggles or glasses and a surgical mask may be worn to protect mucous membranes against splashed droplets or particles.
  • Bird carcasses should be double bagged and placed in a trash receptacle that is secured from access by children and animals.
  • After handling any dead bird, avoid touching the face with gloved or unwashed hands.
  • Any personal protective equipment (PPE) that was used (e.g. gloves, safety glasses, mask) should be discarded or disinfected when done, and hands should then be washed with soap and water (or use an alcohol-based hand gel when soap and water are not available).

OEHS, 1430 Tulane Ave., TW-16, New Orleans, LA 70112   |   504-988-5486   |