West Nile Virus Appears to be City-Wide Sixth Positive Mosquito Pool Found in the City of Peterborough

Written by admin, September 7, 2012

September 7, 2012 – Public Health Advises Residents to Protect Themselves Against Mosquito Bites

The Peterborough Public Health continues to advise the public that mosquitoes in the City of Peterborough have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNv).  The latest pool of mosquitoes positive for WNv were trapped September 4 and 5, 2012.

This is the sixth positive mosquito pool found within the City of Peterborough this year.  The latest pool of positive mosquitoes was trapped in a different area of the City from previous mosquitoes which tested positive for the virus. The various positive pools have been located in distinct geographical areas, indicating that the virus is probably in mosquitoes city-wide.

As of September 1, 2012, 409 positive mosquito pools had been found in Ontario. On September 4, 2012, there were 116 confirmed and probable human cases of the virus in Ontario with no deaths. In 2011 at the same time of the year, there were only 244 positive mosquito pools reported with 52 confirmed and probable human cases.

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported an alarming increase in the number of human cases of WNv.  Over 1,900 human cases have been reported, including 87 deaths.  This is the highest number of human WNV cases reported to the CDC since the virus was detected in the United States in 1999.

To date, there have been no human cases of WNv reported to Peterborough Public Health.  Most people who are bitten by an infected mosquito will not show any symptoms.  In rare cases, there may be more serious symptoms including high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, confusion and tremors.  Older adults are usually more affected than children.  Individuals experiencing severe headache, fever, body ache, nausea, vomiting and rash, should consult a physician.  Symptoms usually develop between 2 and 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Prevention against bites is the best protection against WNv. Now that the virus is probably present across the City of Peterborough, all residents are strongly advised to use personal protective measures while outdoors to avoid mosquito bites.  These measures include:

  • using a Health Canada approved insect repellant containing DEET;
  • wearing light-coloured clothing and covering up when in areas where mosquitoes are present;
  • taking extra precautions, especially in early morning and early evening, when mosquitoes are most active; and
  • removing standing water around your home.

It is extremely important that residents eliminate standing water on their properties which may continue to serve as mosquito breeding sites as well as to protect themselves from mosquito bites. For additional information on protective measures against the West Nile virus such as reducing mosquito breeding sites and the safe use of insect repellents, please consult Public Health’s website at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca.

For further information, please contact:

Julie Ingram
Public Health Inspector
705-743-1000, ext. 351