West Nile virus positive mosquitoes found in Halton

West Nile virus positive mosquitoes found in Halton

Release Date: Aug 18, 2017

A batch of mosquitoes trapped this week in Georgetown has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This is the first batch of WNV positive mosquitoes confirmed in Georgetown this year. Other batches of mosquitoes testing positive for WNV this year were trapped in Burlington, Milton and Oakville.

"The Halton Region Health Department works diligently to reduce the risk of West Nile virus in our community through both education and preventative programs such as larviciding," said Dr. Daniela Kempkens, Acting Medical Officer of Health, Halton Region. "We can all work together to keep our community safe and protect ourselves from West Nile virus by removing standing water sites that breed mosquitos and covering up or applying DEET or Icaridin when outside during dusk and dawn."

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, typically in places that hold water such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys, and tires.

Residents can take the following steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes:

  • Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.
  • Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET or Icaridin.
  • Avoid being outdoors from early evening to morning when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite, as well as at any time in shady, wooded areas.
  • Make sure your window and door screens are tight and without holes, cuts or other openings.
  • 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.

A map showing the locations of standing water sites that have had larvicide applied this year is available at halton.ca/wnv.

To report standing water at public facilities or for more information about West Nile virus, please visit halton.ca/wnv, call 311 or e-mail wnv@halton.ca.

The Regional Municipality of Halton serves more than 500,000 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, dial 311 or visit Halton Region's website at halton.ca.

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Media Contact:
Heather Burnett
Communications Specialist
Halton Region
905-825-6000, ext. 7763
1-866-442-5866, ext. 7763
Heather.burnett@halton.ca