West Nile Virus 2017 Update for Oakville

West Nile Virus 2017, mosquito
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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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A batch of mosquitoes trapped last week in Oakville has tested positive for WNV which triggered a West Nile Virus 2017 Update.. This is the first batch of West Nile Virus positive mosquitoes confirmed in Halton this year.

“The Halton Region Health Department works diligently to reduce the risk of West Nile virus in our community through both education and preventative programs such as larviciding,” said Dr. Daniela Kempkens, Acting Medical Officer of Health, Halton Region. “We can all work together to keep our community safe and protect ourselves from West Nile virus by removing standing water sites that breed mosquitos and covering up or applying DEET or Icaridin when outside during dusk and dawn.”

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, typically in places that hold water such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys, and tires.

Residents can take the following steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes:

  1. Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.
  2. Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET or Icaridin.
  3. 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.
  4. Make sure your window and door screens are tight and without holes, cuts or other openings.
  5. 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.

Symptoms of WNV according to the Mayo Clinic:

According to the Mayor Clinic approximately 20 percent of people bitten by an infected mosquito develop a mild infection commonly refer to as West Nile fever. Common signs and symptoms include: Fever, Headache, Body aches, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Fatigue and/or Skin rash.

One percent and less of infected people does the virus cause a serious neurological infection, including inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). Should the following symptoms present:  High fever, Severe headache, Stiff neck, Disorientation or confusion, Stupor or coma, Tremors or muscle jerking, Seizures, and Partial paralysis or muscle weakness seek immediate medical attention.

A map showing the locations of standing water sites that have had larvicide applied this year is available at West Nile Virus 2017.

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