HPPH begins annual West Nile Virus surveillance

Photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / dabjola

Huron Perth Public Health have begun their annual West Nile Virus surveillance for 2021.

West Nile Virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. According to the HPPH release, evidence shows that “many people infected with West Nile Virus will have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. However, people with weaker immune systems and those with chronic diseases are at greater risk for serious health effects.” It goes on to state that locally over the last several years “mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus have been found in Huron and Perth counties. In the last 5 years, there have been fewer than five cases of West Nile Virus human infections reported.”

You can stop mosquitoes from breeding by getting rid of standing water around your home, farm and workplace at least once a week. Protect yourself by using insect repellent containing DEET or Icaridin on clothing and exposed skin, cover up with light-coloured clothes and wear long sleeves and pants when outdoors, and avoid the outdoors from dusk until dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

“Objects that collect water, like birdbaths, children’s toys, pool covers and tires, are perfect mosquito breeding grounds,” says Stephanie Carlisle, Public Health Inspector.