The West Nile virus program includes larviciding at catch basins. (BlackburnNews.com file photo)

Mosquitoes In Perth County Test Positive For WNV

There is new evidence of West Nile virus in Perth County.

The county’s health unit reports that mosquitoes taken from a trap in the southeastern part of Mitchell have tested positive for West Nile virus. The health unit has been trapping and testing mosquitoes since June.

One round of larvicide has been applied to roadside catch basins in Stratford, St. Marys, Listowel and Mitchell to help reduce mosquito breeding. The second round of larviciding will be starting shortly.

So far this year in Ontario, three probable or confirmed human cases of West Nile virus have been reported.

“Over the past few weeks, West Nile virus activity has been on the rise across Ontario, so it’s not surprising to see positive mosquito pools in Perth County,” says Senior Public Health Inspector Dale Lyttle.

July and August are when people are most at risk of contracting the virus.

Not everyone who is bitten by an infected mosquito will show symptoms of the virus. Of those who show symptoms, most will experience mild illness, including fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and rash on chest, stomach or back.

Symptoms usually develop between two and 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.  People older than 50 are most at risk for WNV infection as are those with weakened immune systems.

Protect Yourself from Mosquitoes:
-Use insect repellent when outdoors; a repellent with DEET or Icaridin offers the most effective protection.
-Cover up with light-coloured clothes, long sleeves and pants when outdoors or while in areas where mosquito activity is high.
-Take extra protection measures at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
-Remove standing water around the home at least once a week to reduce mosquito breeding grounds.