Data in 2012 shows highest number of positive mosquito pools since 2006
The Regional Municipality of York reports that nine mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) this season, which is more than double the amount observed in 2011.
“York Region has not experienced rates of positive mosquito pools this high since 2006,” said Dr. Karim Kurji, York Region’s Medical Officer of Health. “Although no human cases have been confirmed in York Region this season, we expectWest Nilevirus activity to increase and strongly encourage residents to prevent mosquito bites by using insect repellent, covering up and limiting outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.”
The hot and humid summer temperatures have created perfect breeding environments for mosquitoes that spread WNV. As hot weather is expected to continue, prevention and protection are the best way to guard yourself and family from WNV.
Get rid of mosquito-friendly areas at home:
Clean up standing water where mosquitoes are likely to breed including bird baths, flower pots, swimming pool covers, clogged gutters and eavestroughsMake sure screens on your home are tight-fitting and in good repair
Cover up while outside:
Wear protective clothing including socks, long-sleeved shirts and jacketsWear lighter colours if possible as mosquitoes are attracted to darker coloursUse insect repellent – check label directions for useMinimize outdoor activities when mosquitoes are most active such as dusk, night and dawn
As part of York Region’s 2012 WNV Control Plan, York Region Community and Health Services will apply larvicide to catch basins and will continue case investigation and surveillance.
Symptoms of WNV illness may include fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, severe headache and sudden sensitivity to light. In rare cases, the virus can cause serious neurological illness, including encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Those experiencing symptoms should seek medical attention.
For more information on WNV or any or public health-related issue, contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653, TTY 1-866-252-9933 or visit www.york.ca/westnile