Dead birds in backyard could be sign of West Nile Virus
An Ottawa man says he’s found two dead birds in his backyard, a potential sign of the West Nile Virus which the province isn’t helping clean.
John McConnery said he found a dead bird in his backyard Sunday afternoon, the second in the last month.
That’s also the timeframe when the City of Ottawa said West Nile Virus started to appear in the city’s mosquitoes, with a possible human diagnosis last week.
"I don't know if that's a crow or a raven but why all of a sudden are they dropping dead, not in the wild but in a residential neighbourhood," McConnery said.
"I don't like having dead animals in my backyard and if I do, I want to know why they're dead."
McConnery is left to clean up the bird himself since the province stopped its West Nile Virus dead bird surveillance program in 2009.
The City of Ottawa said if you’ve found three or more dead crows, ravens or blue jays to contact the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre.
It said if you find a dead bird, don’t touch it with your bare hands or bury it in a plastic bag – instead use a shovel or leak-proof rubber gloves to move it then thoroughly wash your hands.
Tips to avoid mosquito bites are to wear repellant, tightly-woven light-coloured long pants and long-sleeved shirts, avoid wearing scented products and make sure all your home’s windows and doors have screens.
The last confirmed human case of West Nile Virus in Ottawa was in 2006.
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Stefanie Masotti