Test results received Tuesday by Lambton Public Health confirm a dead crow found in Sarnia’s north end in late July tested positive for the West Nile virus (WNV). This is the first positive finding in 2018. No human cases of WNV have been reported in Lambton County this year.
West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. The majority of people infected with West Nile virus do not get sick. Those who do become ill usually experience mild flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, skin rash or muscle aches. Less than 1% of people infected with the virus get seriously ill.
Reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes:
—Avoid areas with high mosquito populations
—Take extra precautions from dusk to dawn when mosquito activity is high
—Wear protective, light-coloured clothing
—Use repellants containing DEET (follow label instructions carefully)
—Reduce mosquito breeding areas
—Drain areas of standing or stagnant water on your property
—Remove old tires; turn over pails, toys and wheelbarrows
—Change water in bird baths (at least weekly)
—Keep the eavestrough clear to avoid trapped water
Monitoring dead bird activity is an important measure for predicting West Nile virus. The public is encouraged to report the sighting of ALL deadadult crows and blue jays
to Lambton Public Health by calling 519-383-3824, toll-free 1-800-667-1839 ext. 3824 or online at www.lambtonhealth.on.ca.
In certain circumstances, adult crows and blue jays, dead for less than 24 hours, may be considered for physical testing. Lambton Public Health cannot collect every bird. If the bird will not be tested, you will be asked to dispose of it.
If you find a dead bird, take the following precautions for safe disposal:
—Do not handle the dead bird with bare hands
—Use disposable gloves to put the dead bird in a double plastic bag
—If gloves are not available, turn a plastic bag inside-out and scoop up the bird with the bag
—Properly discarded dead birds can be included with your curbside garbage