October 9, 2003

West Nile virus: additional bird identified

NEWMARKET - Associate Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hanif Kassam, advises that another bird is reported as positive for West Nile virus (WNv) in York Region. This brings the total of positive birds for WNv in York Region to nine.
The newly-reported dead crow was found in the Township of King, close to the intersection of the 16th Sideroad and 12th Concession. It was picked up October 2nd and submitted to the Canadian Co-operative Wildlife Health Centre in Guelph for screening.
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. This announcement offers the opportunity to remind residents that mosquitoes are still active and to continue to take the proper precautions.
Personal protective measures remain one of the best methods to protect yourself from WNv. There are simple and common sense precautions that should be taken:

Wear protective clothing such as long sleeved shirts, full-length trousers, socks,light coloured clothing and high boots
         Consider using a repellent containing DEET, as directed

         Minimize outdoor activities where and when mosquitoes are most active such as dusk, night and dawn

         Make sure screens on your home are tight-fitting and in good repair

         Mosquitoes breed in still water. Eliminate standing water around your property which may gather in pool covers, flower pots, children's pools, old tires and birdbaths

For more information on West Nile virus or any health-related concern, contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653

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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