West Nile Virus Season Currently Underway

Protect Your Pet Birds from This Disease

With the peak mosquito season underway, Central Veterinary Associates is asking bird owners to protect their pets against West Nile Virus (WNV) as best as possible.

The New York State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) announced that it is peak mosquito season, which runs until October 31. The agency recently issued an advisory stating that WNV was detected in seven neighborhoods in Queens County: Pomonok, Jamaica Estates, Kew Gardens, Brookville, Rosedale, Bay Terrace and Woodhaven. In 2010, the DOHMH found 393 mosquito pools that tested positive for WNV in New York City ― the most since 1999 ― of which 164 were in Queens County.

West Nile Virus is transmitted through an infected mosquito, which might have been infected by a dead bird which contracted the virus. According to the New York State Department of Health, the virus was first found in New York in 1999 when a large number of crows were found dead in numerous parts of the state.

Central Veterinary Associates offers the following tips:
• Keep birds indoors, particularly at dawn and dusk.
• When bringing pet birds outdoors, provide a mosquito-proof enclosure with a screen or mosquito netting.
• Check windows to make sure all screens are intact.
• Keep birds away from habitats where mosquitoes breed, such as standing water.

It is imperative for bird owners to take precautions and special care of their pets during West Nile Virus season. While bird owners enjoy having their pet around for this summer season, they should be mindful of the virus and how easily their pet may be exposed to it.

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