Second crow confirmed with West Nile

Just hours after the Northwestern Health Unit here said there’s been no more cases of the West Nile virus in the area, another crow was confirmed to have the disease late Thursday afternoon.
The bird was collected by environmental staff in Dryden and submitted for laboratory analysis on Sept. 12.
Confirmation of the West Nile virus was made at Health Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.
The below-normal temperatures experienced across the region over the past week will have brought an end to the hatching of more mosquitoes, and will have eliminated—or at least reduced—the level of activity among adult mosquitoes, noted the health unit.
Should temperatures again rise to where mosquito activity is noted, risk of exposure to the West Nile virus can be reduced by:
•removing any standing water on their property;
•maintaining swimming pools;
•turning over wading pools when not in use;
•ensuing eavestroughs are draining properly;
•replacing damaged screening on windows and doors;
•wearing light-coloured clothing when going outside;
•wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants between dusk and dawn; and
•using a personal insect repellent, following the manufacturer’s label instructions carefully, especially as it relates to children.
The first crow—found in Kenora—was confirmed with the virus on Aug. 23.
The Fort Frances office of the health unit, which serves Rainy River District, reported no birds sent away for testing here have come back with positive results so far.
The health unit will continue to collect reports of dead bird sightings and submit crows for testing when considered appropriate until the mosquito season definitely is over.
Updates on further positive test results will be provided when, and if, they occur, the health unit said.
The West Nile virus is spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected by biting an infected bird.
The virus is not spread by person-to-person contact, and it cannot be spread directly from bird to human, the health unit said.
The risk of becoming seriously ill as a result of an infection with West Nile virus is low, and most people who become infected experience no symptoms or have a very mild illness, with fever, headache, muscle weakness, or body aches, the health unit reported.
Those at increased risk of severe illness are individuals over age 50 and those with weakened immune systems, it added.
Symptoms of West Nile virus encephalitis (the rare but serious form of the disease) include severe headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, and an altered level of consciousness and mental state.

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