April 29, 2003

York Region bird confirmed positive for West Nile Virus

NEWMARKET - York Region Health Services advises that the bird reported April 25, 2003 as "presumed positive" is now reported as "confirmed positive" for West Nile Virus (WNV). The dead crow was found in the Town of Newmarket, close to the intersection of Leslie Street and Mulock Drive. The bird is the first positive bird reported in York Region and in Canada.

Crows are known to be most susceptible to the disease and act as an early warning system for the presence of the virus in a particular area. York Region residents are asked to report dead crows, with suitable specimens collected and submitted to the Canadian Co-operative Wildlife Health Centre in Guelph for screening. All crows that are reported will help to map out possible West Nile virus activity in York Region.

Dead crows are to be reported to York Region Health Services through the Health Connection information line. Location details will be recorded, for mapping purposes, with the following direction:

Prevention and protection are the best ways to protect yourself from WNv. There are simple and common sense precautions that should be taken:

To report a dead crow and for more information on West Nile Virus or any health-related concern, contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or visit www.region.york.on.ca.

Please note that only birds found within York Region are to be reported through the Health Connection information line. Outside of York Region please contact your local health unit.

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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