A batch of mosquitoes trapped this week in Oakville has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This is the first batch of WNV positive mosquitoes for Halton this year.
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 such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys and tires that hold water.
Most individuals infected with WNV do not develop any symptoms while some may develop fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. The majority of these individuals will recover completely but a few of them can go on to develop severe illness affecting the central nervous system such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord). Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and individuals over 50 years of age are at higher risk for severe disease.
Residents can take the following steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes:
- Cover up when going outside between the hours of dusk and dawn (when most mosquitoes feed). Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.
- 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.
- Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET or Icaridin.
- Make sure your window and door screens are tight and without holes, cuts or other openings.
Locations of standing water sites that have had larvicide applied this year is available on the West Nile Virus page on halton.ca.
For more information about West Nile virus or to report standing water at public facilities, please visit halton.ca, call 311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Regional Municipality of Halton serves more than 595,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; paramedic services; waste management; public health; social assistance; children’s and seniors’ services; housing services; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development. For more information, call 311 or visit Halton Region’s website at halton.ca.