West Nile Virus found in Oakville

mosquito
West Nile Virus found in Oakville

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Gary Carr

Gary Carr

In 2006, Gary was elected to the position of Regional Chair at the Regional Municipality of Halton, and was re-elected to the position in 2010. Gary sits on the Standing Committees of Health and Social Services, Administration and Finance, and Planning and Public Works, in addition to a number of Advisory Committees. Gary is also a member of the board for the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance, and served on the Halton Regional Police Services Board and Metrolinx.

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On July 21, 2016, Halton Region announced that a batch of mosquitoes trapped this week in the Town of Oakville tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This is the first batch of WNV positive mosquitoes for Halton this year.

“Halton is committed to being safe and healthy and reducing West Nile virus in our communities through both education and preventative programs like larviciding,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “Until the hard frosts of fall set in, Halton residents should continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites and remove mosquito breeding sites.”

Urban areas are more likely to have mosquitoes that carry WNV. The types of mosquitoes that transmit WNV to humans most commonly breed in urban areas in places that hold water such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys, and tires.

Most people who are infected by WNV do not have symptoms but those who do should seek medical attention. Only 20 per cent of those infected experience West Nile fever, which consists of fever, headache, muscle ache and rash, and only one in 150 infections can result in a more serious illness such as encephalitis (brain swelling).

The following are steps that residents can take to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes:

  1. Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.
  2. Avoid being outdoors from early evening to morning when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite, as well as at any time in shady, wooded areas.
  3. Reduce mosquito breeding sites around your home by getting rid of all water-filled containers and objects, where possible. Change the water in bird baths at least once per week.
  4. Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET or Icaridin.
  5. Make sure your window and door screens are tight and without holes, cuts or other openings.

A map showing the locations of standing water sites that have had larvicide applied this year is available at halton.ca/wnv.

To report standing water at public facilities or for more information about West Nile virus, please visit halton.ca/wnv, dial 311or e-mail wnv@halton.ca.

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