For Immediate Release
August 24, 2001
Dr. David McKeown
Medical Officer of Health
Region of Peel
905-791-7800 Ext. 4410
Three Peel Birds Presumed Positive for West Nile Virus
(Brampton) - Preliminary tests indicate that two crows and one blue jay from Peel Region are presumed positive for the West Nile virus. All three birds were found in Mississauga.
"This finding is not a surprise, as it was known that the virus had reached the GTA," says Dr. David McKeown, Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel. "I'd like to emphasize that the risk of human infection remains low. However, I encourage everyone to take common sense steps to reduce the risk of mosquito bites."
Residents are reminded to:
- Avoid areas with high mosquito populations.
- Wear light-coloured clothing, including long sleeves, pants and a hat, to cover exposed skin.
- Use a mosquito repellent containing DEET. For adults, look for repellents containing 35 per cent DEET. Children should wear a repellent with no more than 6 to 10 per cent DEET.
- Drain any areas of standing or stagnant water on your property. Remove old tires, turn over pails, toys and wheelbarrows, and frequently change the water in birdbaths. Also, keep your eavestroughs clear to avoid trapped water.
- Take extra precaution at dusk and dawn when mosquito activity is particularly high.
"Further testing will confirm the presence of the virus in these three birds," says Dr. McKeown. "We will be keeping our residents informed as more information becomes available."
Further information on West Nile virus, tips to reduce mosquito breeding areas, advice on personal protection from mosquito bites and details on how to report dead birds can be found at www.peel-bugbite.ca
or by calling Health Line Peel, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at 905-799-7700.