Tuesday, August 14, 2012
West Nile Virus Activity on the Rise
As we come to the end of a hot summer, West Nile virus (WNV) activity in mosquitoes is on the rise in Ontario. So far, 89 mosquito pools have tested positive for WNV across the province. A mosquito pool is a group of female mosquitoes that belong to the same species. Positive pools have been found in the areas of Middlesex-London, Oxford County, Toronto, and in the Waterloo Region.
“No mosquito pools have tested positive in Perth County so far,” says Stephanie Carlisle Public Health Inspector. “However, the current weather conditions are perfect for mosquitoes to breed and the virus to multiply. We could see positive mosquitoes here in the coming weeks.” The Health Unit will continue to trap adult mosquitoes throughout Perth County and test them for the virus until the beginning of September.
In Stratford, St Marys, Mitchell, and Listowel, roadside catch-basins have been treated to reduce the populations of the type of mosquitoes that can spread WNV.
So far in 2012, there have been four human cases of WNV reported in Ontario, but none in Perth County. The risk of humans getting sick with WNV is highest this time of year. Residents must still protect themselves, even as the weather cools. Mosquitoes are usually active until the first hard frost.
The Health Unit also recommends that people protect themselves from mosquito bites by:
- Removing all sources of standing water around homes and farms
- Using insect repellent when outdoors; a repellent with DEET offers the most effective protection
- Covering up with light-colored clothes, long sleeves and pants when outdoors or while in areas where mosquito activity is high
- Taking extra protection measures at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active
For more information please contact Health Line at 519-271-7600 ext 267 or toll-free at
1-877-271-7348 ext 267. Visit www.pdhu.on.ca.
Rebecca Hill, Communications Manager
519-271-7600 ext 279