WNV in Canada
August and early September generally is the time when people are at most risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus from infected mosquitoes. Health agencies across Canada use various forms of surveillance to estimate West Nile virus risk. These include collecting and testing mosquitoes, measuring and mapping climate and temperatures and looking for infection in wild birds which generally are affected several weeks earlier than people or horses. The general public can help with wild bird surveillance; be alert to unusual deaths in wild birds – particularly crows, ravens, magpies, and jays, and report these to your local authority responsible for wildlife or directly to the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre (CCWHC) . Testing such birds can alert authorities to West Nile activity in your area.
In fact, all forms of dead wildlife are of interest to the CCWHC. Such specimens are Canada’s window on diseases in nature and provide fundamental information important to public health, animal health and wildlife conservation.
For information about West Nile virus in Canadian wild birds, visit the West Nile pages of the CCWHC website.. For up-to-date general information on West Nile testing in Canada, see the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website.