Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile Virus

West Nile virus is in Perth County. Tests on mosquitoes taken from a trap located in the north-eastern part of Mitchell have come back positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This is the first positive mosquito finding of the season in Perth County.

“West Nile virus activity has been low so far across Ontario, but it’s not surprising to see activity begin to increase as historically we get positive mosquito pools around this time,” says Stephanie Carlisle, Public Health Inspector.

Mosquito Control Activities

The Health Unit has been trapping and testing mosquitoes since June and has applied one round of larvicide in roadside catch basins in Stratford, St. Marys, Listowel and Mitchell to help reduce mosquito breeding. A second round of larviciding is scheduled for the first week of August.

West Nile Virus in Humans

In Ontario, there has been 4 probable or confirmed human cases of West Nile virus reported this year.

* Not everyone who is bitten by an infected mosquito will show symptoms of the virus.

* Of those who show symptoms, most will experience mild illness, including fever, headache, body ache, nausea, vomiting and rash on chest, stomach or back.

* About 1 in 150 people infected will get seriously ill, with symptoms like high fever, muscle weakness, vision loss and coma.

* Symptoms usually develop between two and 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

* People older than 50 are most at risk for WNV infection as are those with weakened immune systems.

Protect from Mosquitoes

People can protect themselves from mosquito bites by:

* Using insect repellent when outdoors; a repellent with DEET or Icaridin 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.

* Removing standing water around the home at least once a week to reduce mosquito breeding grounds.

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