INFOSheet - Public Asked To Report Dead Wild Birds

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INFOSheet - Public Asked To Report Dead Wild Birds

Data Will Help With West Nile Virus And Avian Influenza Surveillance Efforts TORONTO, June 14 - As part of ongoing disease surveillance, Ontarians are being asked to report any findings of dead wild birds to their local Public Health Unit. Some of the dead birds may be collected for testing as part of either West Nile or Avian Influenza surveillance. Here's what we need you to do from now until August 31: If you notice dead wild birds, please contact your local Public Health Unit. Contact information for the health units can be found at www.health.gov.on.ca, or by calling 1-800-268-1154. Do not handle any dead wild birds with your bare hands. The Public Health Unit may arrange to collect the bird for West Nile Virus or Avian Influenza surveillance. Alternately, the Health Unit may refer you to the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre to determine if the bird is needed as part of a Canada-wide Avian Influenza surveillance program. Please note that only suitable specimens will be collected and tested. Beginning September 1: The Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre will take over responsibility for Avian Influenza surveillance in Ontario. The centre can be reached directly at 1-866-673-4781. Public health units will no longer have a role in dead wild bird reporting. Here's why we need your help: West Nile Virus --------------- Bird surveillance helps the health units to establish whether or not the West Nile Virus is present in the health unit area. This is key information required by the medical officer of health for each local health unit for purposes of decision making. The West Nile Virus bird surveillance is not intended as an ongoing monitoring of the status of bird health with respect to the virus. For more information on West Nile Virus, visit www.health.gov.on.ca. Avian Influenza --------------- Canada is monitoring the many strains of avian influenza that are naturally present in wild bird populations. One way this is tracked is through the collection and testing of dead birds. This method is only successful if there is a significant level of public participation and awareness. To date, no influenza viruses of concern have been detected in Ontario in wild or domestic birds. However, it is important to continue testing wild birds to help better understand avian influenza viruses. For more information on avian influenza, visit www.ontario.ca/birdflu. Disponible en français www.ontario.ca/omafra Contact Info For further information: Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Brent Ross, Communications Branch, (416) 326-9342; Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Media Line, 1-888-414-4774 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Brent Ross, Communications Branch, (416) 326-9342; Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Media Line, 1-888-414-4774