First sign of West Nile virus found in Windsor-Essex

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit west nile virus program includes larviciding at catch basins throughout the region. ( file Photo)

Two positive West Nile virus mosquito pools have been found in Windsor-Essex.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit said this is the first sign of West Nile virus in Windsor and Essex County this year.

The virus can seriously infect humans and is carried and spread by certain types of mosquitoes.

The health unit said no human cases of West Nile virus have been identified in Windsor-Essex so far this year but these positive mosquito pools are an indicator that the virus is in our community.

“Windsor and Essex County residents should continue to protect themselves against mosquitoes. This is a good reminder for everyone to remove any standing water and to take personal protective measures to avoid mosquito bites,” said Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health in Windsor-Essex.

Individuals are asked to use insect repellents that contain DEET, Icaridin or other approved ingredients on clothing and exposed skin to avoid mosquito bites. Other tips include wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a hat when outdoors, limiting time outdoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active, ensuring that door and window screens fit securely and are free of holes.

Residents can call 311 or their local by-law enforcement to report standing water in our community. The health unit, along with each municipality, will continue to monitor West Nile virus activity.

The 2019 larviciding program will continue throughout the summer season, along with the investigation of standing water complaints and the distribution of educational materials.

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