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Crow Found in Old South Tests Positive for West Nile Virus

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London, ON – A dead crow found in an Old South neighbourhood has tested positive for West Nile Virus. The bird was found in an area west of Wellington Road and south of Grand Avenue on Wednesday and preliminary testing was completed at the Health Unit’s lab in Strathroy yesterday. This crow is the first bird from the Middlesex-London area to test positive for the disease this year.

“With the long weekend on the way and a lot of people spending time outdoors participating in Canada Day activities, having a crow test positive for West Nile Virus reminds us that we need to take steps to protect our families and ourselves from mosquitoes,” says Jeremy Hogeveen, Vector-Borne Disease Coordinator with the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “Dumping or draining standing water on your property is a great way to reduce mosquito populations, while using an insect repellant that contains DEET will repel the bugs.”

Other great tips to help protect yourself and your family against West Nile Virus include:

  • Wearing light-coloured clothing with long-sleeves, pants and socks in areas where mosquitoes are present, especially at dusk and dawn when they are most active.
  • When using an insect repellent with DEET follow directions for use, especially for children.
  • Fixing holes in screens, windows and doors.
  • Regularly emptying standing water from garbage cans, wheelbarrows, toys, flowerpots and saucers, pool covers, tires, and other items around your home and yard.
  • Cleaning clogged eaves troughs.
  • Cleaning and changing water in bird baths every other day.Keeping pool pumps circulating.
  • Aerating ponds or stocking them with fish.
  • Covering openings in rain barrels.

The majority of people (80%) who become infected with West Nile Virus do not get sick. Those who do become ill usually experience mild flu-like symptoms; fewer than 1% of people infected with the virus get seriously ill.

The Health Unit’s Vector-Borne Disease Team has conducted weekly mosquito monitoring at some 250 standing water locations on public property since the beginning of May. Where mosquitoes capable of carrying West Nile Virus are identified, a larvicide is applied to control insect larvae. This is in addition to the treatment of more than 35,000 roadside catch basins in London and Middlesex County over the course of the summer.

To report a dead crow or blue jay, call the Health Unit at 519-663-5317, ext. 2300 or visit:

Media Contact:
Dan Flaherty, Communications Manager, 519-663-5317 ext. 2469 or 519-617-0570

Jeremy Hogeveen, Vector-Borne Disease Coordinator, Middlesex-London Health Unit

Tags: news, media release, west nile virus, crow