West Nile

Last Updated: August 19, 2019
Image of adult spraying bug repellent on child's hand and arm.

August 19, 2019

A mosquito trap in Aylmer has tested positive for West Nile virus during routine surveillance activities by Southwestern Public Health. It is the first positive mosquito pool of the season in Elgin County.

Throughout the summer months, Public Health traps and tests mosquito pools across Elgin County, St. Thomas and Oxford County on a weekly basis. With a positive pool identified, Public Health is reminding residents to cover up and clean up to avoid West Nile virus.

COVER UP:

  • Wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants, especially in mosquito-prone areas.
  • Wear a bug repellent containing DEET.

CLEAN UP:

  • Regularly clean and empty water-holding containers like bird baths, wading pools, pet water dishes and children’s toys, which could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  • Ensure rain barrels are covered with a fine screen and tightly sealed around the downspout.
  • Clear your yard of old tires, empty flowerpots, buckets and any other debris where water collects.
  • Keep grass mowed and bushes trimmed in high use areas.
  • Make sure your doors and window screens fit tightly and are free of holes.

In Ontario this year, six mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile virus and two human cases have been reported.

Comment

Amy Pavletic, Manager of Environmental Health, “The identification of West Nile virus in a locally tested mosquito pool serves as an important reminder for residents to use preventative measure to reduce the risk of infection.”

Background

West Nile virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people who are infected with WNV have no symptoms at all or have a mild illness such as fever, headache, muscle weakness, and body aches. A few people will experience a more severe form of West Nile virus, called encephalitis (swelling of the brain), which may lead to a sudden and severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, and disorientation. Seniors, immunocompromised people, and young children are at greatest risk for health complications.

Contact:

Megan Cornwell, Communications Manager | Southwestern Public Health
519.631.9900 x 1259
communications@swpublichealth.ca