The health unit routinely sets traps throughout its service area starting in mid-June to monitor for local WNV activity.
This is the first time this season that WNV has been detected in mosquitoes in the SDHU area.
“Finding positive mosquitoes was not a surprise because we know that West Nile virus circulates in our area,” said Holly Browne, a manager in the Health Unit’s Environmental Health Division.
So far in 2013, 89 WNV-positive mosquito pools have been found in Ontario. A mosquito pool is a group of female mosquitoes belonging to the same species.
Late summer, and early fall is the time of year when people are at greater risk of being bitten by a mosquito that may be carrying WNV.
In Ontario, there are 10 probable/confirmed human cases of WNV. Browne encourages people to continue protecting themselves against mosquito bites.
To protect yourself and your family:
-Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks when outside, especially from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
-Use a registered insect repellent and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
-Remove standing water from around your home where mosquitoes could lay their eggs.
West Nile virus is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes that normally causes only mild illness in humans. Severe complications, including meningitis and encephalitis, are also possible, particularly in people over 50 years of age, and among those who have weakened immune systems.
For more information about West Nile virus, please contact your local office of the Sudbury and District Health Unit or visit www.sdhu.com.