West Nile Virus Positive Numbers Climb in Canada

According to Health Canada, the number of West Nile virus-positive birds from Canada has been climbing since initial confirmation on Aug. 23 in a crow found Aug. 8 near Windsor in Ontario.

This crow was the first of the 1391 birds tested as of that time in Canada to be confirmed WNV-positive. By Aug. 27, eight crows and two blue jays had been confirmed and another four crows and one blue jay are still undergoing testing but presumed WNV-positive. The birds have been found near the Lake Erie and Lake Ontario borders.

Seven of the birds confirmed as WNV-positive are from in-and-around the city of Windsor or elsewhere in the Essex region (Windsor is across the Detroit River to the east of Detroit near the western tip of Lake Erie). The other birds confirmed or presumed WNV-positive are from near Toronto (including the Toronto, Halton and Peel regions--the latter to the SW of Toronto and bordering Lake Ontario). No WNV-positive birds have been confirmed from the Ottawa area despite preliminary results suggesting the virus had been detected there as well.

Last year a crow from the Windsor area tested WNV-positive on a first test, but information is now available explaining that because of its decayed condition, the diagnosis could not be confirmed on follow up tests.

Details, including maps and the total number of birds tested for WNV will be posted on the Health Canada web site at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/pphb-dgspsp/wnv-vwn/index.html.

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