West Nile Virus Found in London Mosquitoes
The Middlesex-London Health Unit is reminding Londoners to protect themselves from mosquito bites after recording its first West Nile positive insects of the season.
The mosquitoes that tested positive for the virus were collected in a Pond Mills area trap.
“We know West Nile Virus is weather-dependent and continues to be present within
Middlesex London, so it’s important not to let our guard down, especially now that we are
starting to see positive mosquitoes in our community,” says Jeremy Hogeveen, VectorBorne Disease Coordinator, with the Health Unit. “We continue to conduct adult mosquito surveillance and testing at 23 sites within the City of London and Middlesex County in the hopes that early detection will help to prevent the spread of infection into the human population.”
Health Unit officials are asking residents to use insect repellant with DEET and wear light-coloured long sleeved shirts and pants to avoid being bitten. Staying indoors at dawn and dusk also reduces the risk of bites.
Homeowners can help cut down on the mosquito population by removing standing water from rain gutters, flower pots, children’s toys, and bird baths on their property.
According to the health unit, 80% of those who catch West Nile do not get sick. People who do feel the effects of the virus usually experience mild flu-like symptoms with less than 1% becoming seriously ill.
The health unit’s vector-borne disease team continues to monitor approximately 250 standing water sites on public property and has treated approximately 7.7 hectares with a biological larvicide.