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Still no answer to raven paralysis in South Peace

The Vancouver Sun is reporting that authorities have ruled out the West Nile virus and avian flu, but are still unable to explain the paralysis of some birds taken for testing from a Dawson Creek wildlife rehabilitation centre last month. The tests have proven that eight crows and ravens - part of a much larger group - weren't suffering from any common bird viruses as previously suspected.

However, all were juveniles suffering from broken bones, which a veterinary radiologist will now examine further.

West Nile virus has reportedly never been seen north of the North Okanagan and a spokesman for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations says if you look across the country, it’s not been found that far north at all. He says all that’s known so far is that these birds could not fly, nor walk.

Recall Leona Green, who runs the Hill Spring Wildlife Rehabilitation facility in Dawson Creek, said last month, that since May she had received dozens of reports of ravens and crows found sitting on the ground unable to use their feet.

Since 2011, the province has had a dead bird surveillance program for West Nile virus which is spread to humans by mosquitoes. It has killed 42 people in Canada since 2002, but according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, the last confirmed case of human infection in this province was in 2010.

To read the full Vancouver Sun article, click here.

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