Local Crows Test Positive for West Nile Virus

Two wild American Crows in the City have tested positive for the West Nile Virus (WNV) according to the Health Unit. The samples were submitted on June 4 by the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, with the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit receiving the results today.

Mosquitoes acquire WNV by feeding on infected birds, with the virus being spread to humans and other mammals through the bite of an infected mosquito. It is not transmitted from other animals. The Health Unit reassures that being bitten by an infected mosquito will not necessarily make you sick.

Symptoms of WNV typically appear within two to 15 days after infection. While 70 to 80 percent of individuals infected with WNV show no symptoms, some may experience mild illness such as fever, headache, body ache, nausea, vomiting, and a rash on the chest, stomach, or back. In rare cases, more severe disease can occur, especially in those with weakened immune systems like the elderly. If any sudden symptoms arise, medical attention should be sought. Although there is no specific treatment or vaccine for WNV, symptoms can be managed.

Prevention is crucial in reducing the risk of illness due to mosquito bites. People can take simple protective measures such as avoiding outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, wearing light-colored clothing with long sleeves, pants, socks, and shoes, using mosquito repellents with DEET, ensuring window and door screens are intact, and eliminating standing water in their surroundings to prevent mosquito breeding.