West Nile Virus Confirmed in Local Bird 

Written by Comms Team, May 30, 2024

West Nile Virus Confirmed in Local Bird 

Peterborough Public Health is advising the public that a local bird has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). The bird was found dead in the Peterborough region early in May and submitted for testing.  

Birds and mosquitos can carry and be a host for WNV. During the summer months and early fall, PPH sets traps weekly throughout the City and County of Peterborough to gather mosquito specimens for WNV testing. In 2023, no mosquitos tested in the Peterborough region were positive for WNV, but there were confirmed human cases in Ontario.  

The majority of WNV cases do not show symptoms. About 20% of infected people may have a mild flu-like illness with fever, headache, and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash and swollen lymph nodes or other non-specific symptoms that last several days. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, or eye pain. Less than one percent of infected people will develop neuro-invasive disease, with older age groups and males disproportionately affected. 

To prevent WNV,  

  • Avoid interacting with dead birds 
  • If one is found on your property, use a shovel and gloves to pick it up and double bag it. 
  • Report the bird to Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative 
  • Thoroughly wash hands with soap and water 
  • Prevent mosquito bites 
  • Cover up when going outside between the hours of dusk and dawn 
  • Use insect repellant containing DEET or icaridin, following manufacturer’s instructions 
  • Remove brush and standing water from property as they use this as a habitat 

For additional information on protection measures against West Nile virus such as reducing mosquito breeding sites and the safe use of insect repellents, please visit www.publichealthontario.ca or www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca 


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