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West Nile virus dead bird sighting program comes to seasonal end

SIMCOE, ON, OCT. 23, 2007 – The mosquito season is coming to an end and the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is no longer asking the public to report dead bird sightings as a way of monitoring West Nile virus.

“We want to thank the public for participating in the West Nile virus surveillance program by reporting dead birds,” said Public Health Inspector Gary Nedelkou. “Effective immediately, the Health Unit will no longer be accepting calls to our hotline or department for dead bird sightings or collections.”

This season, the Health Unit monitored 18 mosquito traps – nine in Norfolk and nine in Haldimand. Only one, located in Jarvis, tested positive for mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus. No birds tested positive for the virus and there were no human cases reported in either county.

However, residents are encouraged to continue protecting themselves from mosquito bites.

“If you are in areas where mosquitoes are prevalent, wear repellent containing DEET and avoid spending time outdoors during dawn and dusk,” Nedelkou said. “Also, remove any standing water from items such as bird baths, pool covers, tires, etc. These areas are where mosquitoes that can carry West Nile virus are most likely to lay their eggs.”

For more information on West Nile virus, call the Health Unit at either the Simcoe office at 519-426-6170 or the Caledonia office at 905-318-5367 or visit the website at www.hnhu.org.

Media Contact:
Gary Nedelkou, Public Health Inspector
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
905-318-5367 Ext. 303