June 9, 2010, 10:39 a.m.
Most people get West Nile virus after being bitten by a mosquito that has fed on an infected bird. (CBC)
B.C. health officials have found some extra money for a West Nile virus prevention program in the North Okanagan, after CBC News reported the funding had been pulled this year.
On Friday morning CBC News revealed the province was only going to fund risk management programs in four regional districts on the southern edge of the province.
That left officials in the North Okanagan concerned about the possibility of an outbreak in their regional district.
B.C.'s first two cases of locally-contracted West Nile infections were detected last summer in two South Okanagan residents, and North Okanagan health officials feared it might spread north this summer.
But then later on Friday, a provincial health official said the province would provide funds for a prevention program in the North Okanagan.
"There is no particular line where mosquitos won't cross, or birds won't cross," deputy provincial health officer Dr. Eric Young told CBC News.
"The North, that particular area in the Okanagan, is clearly the next area that would be provided with funding and we will be advising the North Okanagan that that is the case, because we actually have some additional funding that we've been made aware of," said Young.
Officials say North Okanagan and other districts at high risk will be able to apply for the funding through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, but the details still have to be worked out.