West Nile Virus Mosquitoes Found in Oakville

Tips on how to protect your family

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A batch of mosquitoes trapped last week in Oakville has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This is the first batch of WNV positive mosquitoes for Halton this year. “Halton Region has been testing mosquitoes for 12 years now.

“This relatively early positive batch could indicate a busy year in terms of West Nile virus activity,” stated Dr. Monir Taha, Halton Region Associate Medical Officer of Health. “The recent very hot weather was perfect for mosquito and West Nile virus reproduction. Halton residents need to protect themselves against mosquito bites and get rid of mosquito breeding sites now and until the West Nile virus season winds down in the fall.”

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 where man-made items that hold water such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys, and tires are abundant.

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

  • Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.
  • 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.
  • Reduce mosquito breeding sites around your home by getting rid of all water-filled containers and objects. Change the water in bird baths at least once per week.
  • Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET.
  • 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 is available on the Health Department’s website at www.halton.ca/wnv. To report standing water or for more information about West Nile virus, please dial 311 or call Halton Region at 905-825-6000, toll free 1-866-442-5866, or e-mail wnv@halton.ca.

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