West Nile Virus Found in Local Mosquitoes

Written by admin, July 16, 2012

July 16, 2012 – Public Health Advises Residents to Protect Themselves From Mosquito Bites

The Peterborough Public Health is advising the public that mosquitoes in the City of Peterborough have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).  The mosquitoes were trapped July 9, 10, and 11, 2012.

This is the first positive mosquito pool found in the City of Peterborough this year.  As of last week, 10 positive mosquito pools had been found in Ontario.

“Now that we’ve identified mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus are present in our area, it’s especially important that residents take care to prevent mosquito bites,” said Shawn Telford-Eaton, Acting Manager of Inspection Services with Public Health. “We all have a role to play in terms of preventing bites by using insect repellent and by eliminating standing water on our property to help reduce mosquito breeding grounds.”

West Nile Virus audio-clip[to hear this audio clip, click here]

During the summer and early fall, mosquitoes are trapped and tested for WNV and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) every week throughout Peterborough City and County.  The Peterborough Public Health had three positive mosquito pools in 2011.

There have been no human cases of WNV identified in Peterborough City or County in 2012.  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 two and 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Although the risk of becoming infected is low, prevention against bites is the best protection.  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
  • remove standing water around your home and vacation property

It is extremely important that residents continue to eliminate standing water on their properties which may serve as mosquito breeding sites. For additional information on protection measures against 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.

The Public Health is also reminding residents that it no longer collects dead birds for WNV testing and that they can dispose of the birds themselves.  For information on the safe disposal of dead birds please visit the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Care Centre at http://www.ccwhc.ca/

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 For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Officer
(705) 743-1000, ext. 391