The Middlesex-London Health Unit is warning local residents that a trap in London was found to contain insects that tested positive for West Nile Virus. The trap was located near Springbank Drive and Wharncliffe Road, and is the first this summer to contain West Nile Virus-positive mosquitoes.
Less than 1% of people infected with the virus get seriously ill; however, the majority of people (80%) who become infected with West Nile Virus do not get sick. Those who do get ill, usually experience mild flu-like symptoms.
“While we continue our mosquito surveillance and control efforts in the region, we want to remind people across London and Middlesex County that they need to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites,” says Jeremy Hogeveen, Vector-Borne Disease Coordinator with the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “You can prevent mosquito bites by covering exposed skin or using repellants that contain DEET or Icaridin. Removing standing water from your property is also a great way to reduce the number of places mosquitoes can breed.”
The Health Unit also recommends avoiding the outdoors during the hours near dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
Other practical ways to reduce mosquito exposure include emptying your rain gutters, flower pots, children’s toys and other places where water collects. Regularly changing the water in birdbaths and adding a fountain or pump to ornamental ponds in order to aerate the water can also lessen the likelihood of mosquitoes.
MLHU’s Vector-Borne Disease Team conducts weekly mosquito monitoring at 250 standing water sites on public property in London. When mosquitoes capable of carrying West Nile Virus are identified, a larvicide is applied to control the insect larvae. There are also 35,000 roadside catch basins in London and Middlesex County that have already received two treatments this summer.
To learn more about personal protection and the Health Unit’s surveillance and control efforts please visit: www.healthunit.com/west-nile-virus.