West Nile Virus found in Halton, Peel Region
Watch above: Mosquitoes infected with West Nile detected in Halton and Peel regions. Laura Zilke reports.
TORONTO – Positive test results for West Nile Virus (WNV) in Halton and Peel Region have prompted health officials to issue advisories for residents to protect themselves from mosquitoes.
A batch of mosquitoes trapped both in Milton and Mississauga last week tested positive for the virus. However, there have been no confirmed human cases thus far.
To date, there has been one probable case of WNV reported in Ontario in Simcoe Muskoka.
“This is the time of year we start to see positive lab results for West Nile virus,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health in a media release.
“Halton residents should 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.”
Officials say the types of mosquitoes that transmit WNV to humans most commonly breed in urban areas in items that hold water such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys, and tires.
Peel Region authorities say residents should take several precautionary measures to make sure the virus is kept at bay.
- Avoid areas with high mosquito populations.
- Wear light-coloured clothing, including long sleeves, pants and a hat, to cover exposed skin, even in their own backyard.
- Use an insect repellent and apply it according to the manufacturer’s directions.
- Drain any areas of standing water on their property. Remove old tires, turn over pails, toys and wheelbarrows, frequently change the water in birdbaths, and keep eavestroughs clear.
- Take extra precaution from dusk to dawn when mosquito activity is higher. If possible, stay indoors.