Are magpies the same as crows? Crows are more susceptible to disease and often carriers of diseases such as West Nile. If you see lots of crows in your vicinity and West Nile is known to be in your area take lots of precautions!
Take precautions against West Nile by avoiding exposure in the morning and evening when mosquitos are active, wearing long-sleeve shirts and long pants to avoid bites, using repellant, and preventing mosquito breeding by not allowing water to stand in puddles or even in plant saucers.
I was thinking to myself how odd it was to see so many dead crows at the side of the road this year. I hope to God it's not coming and that's why I've been seeing them. I think I've seen 6 this year? It's odd to see them struck by cars as they're so smart.
Oh - and Magpies are commonly called blackbirds I believe. Like Grackles, they're black and Blue Jay sized (and related I believe). Actually, jays are related to crows too (so I guess it technically is a small crow - hehe).
Some people can get it and not die from it. Only something like 2% of the population who will get it will die. The others will get mild like flu symptoms from what I understand. It doesn't transfer from human to human.