Halton residents test positive for West Nile virus

Halton residents test positive for West Nile virus

Release Date: Sep 11, 2017

Four Halton residents have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These are the first human cases for Halton this year.

“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. Until the fall frost, Halton residents should continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites and remove mosquito breeding sites,” said Dr. Daniela Kempkens, Acting Medical Officer of Health for Halton Region. “While 80 per cent of people infected with West Nile virus will have no symptoms, others will have West Nile fever consisting of fever, headache, muscle ache and a rash. If residents are concerned or experiencing symptoms, I would encourage them to visit their health care professional.”

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

Residents are encouraged to 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

As part of its ongoing West Nile prevention program, Halton Region staff continually monitor areas of standing water, eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites and larvicide when mosquito larvae is found. A map showing the locations of standing water sites on public properties 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 or call 311.

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, call 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
heather.burnett@halton.ca