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Volume 10, Number 12—December 2004


West Nile Virus Outbreak in North American Owls, Ontario, 2002

Ady Y. Gancz*Comments to Author , Ian K. Barker*, Robbin Lindsay†, Antonia Dibernardo†, Katherine McKeever‡, and Bruce Hunter*
Author affiliations: *University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada; †Health Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; ‡Owl Foundation, Vineland, Ontario, Canada

Main Article

Table 3

Exposurea rates and WNV-related death rates for 12 species of owls kept outdoors at the Owl Foundation property during WNV outbreak, 2002b

Speciesc Exposure rate (%) WNV-related DR (%)
Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) 100 100
Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula) 100 100
Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus) 92.3 92.3
Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa) 100 91.3
Boreal Owl (Ae. funereus) 90.9 90.9
Northern Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium gnoma) 50 16.7
Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) 100 12.5
Flammulated Owl (Otus flammeolus) 22.2 11.1
Great Horned Owl (B. virginianus) 100 4.5
Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) 90 0
Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) 72.7 0
Barn Owl (Tyto alba) 80 0
All species 84.3 43

aExposure defined as positive reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction result (for birds that died during the outbreak) (Table 1) or positive serologic results (for birds that survived the outbreak) (Table 2).
bWNV, West Nile virus; DR, death rate.
cOnly species for which n > 6 are shown.

Main Article