West Nile Virus Surveillance Season Begins

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West Nile Virus

Niagara residents can now call the Region's West Nile Virus Info Line at 1-888-505-6074 to report dead crow and blue jay sightings.

Reports of dead birds are valuable pieces of surveillance information that assist in the early detection of WNV activity so that appropriate measures can be taken to decrease the risk of human illness. While all sightings will be recorded and analyzed, a limited number of dead birds will be sent to the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre for testing. In addition, twenty-one mosquito traps will be placed throughout the region to capture mosquitoes which will be tested for the virus.

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It is important for residents to note that mosquitoes carrying WNV have been found in urban areas.

"The most important way to control West Nile virus is to eliminate mosquito breeding areas around the home, reducing personal risk by covering up when outdoors, and wearing insect repellents containing DEET," said Andre Laflamme, Manager of Health Protection and Promotion with Public Health.

Again this year, low impact larvicides (methoprene and Bti) will be applied to productive breeding sites on public property in late May or June, including catch basins and other standing water sites that cannot be easily drained.

Niagara residents with municipally owned catch basins located on their private property can arrange to have the low impact larvicide methoprene placed in them by contacting Public Health by e-mail or phone.

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