West Nile virus mosquitoes found at six locations in Milton, Oakville, Burlington

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Published July 27, 2023 at 5:05 pm

West Nile virus season is back in Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills.

Six batches of mosquitoes trapped this week in Halton Region have tested positive for West Nile virus.

These are the first batches of WNV positive mosquitoes for Halton this year, although the region didn’t provide specific locations where they were found.

According to the region, urban areas are more likely to have mosquitoes that carry WNV. The types of mosquitoes that transmit WNV to humans most commonly breed in urban areas such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys and tires that hold water.

“Most individuals infected with WNV do not develop any symptoms while some may develop fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash,” said a spokesperson for Halton Region.

“The majority of individuals will recover completely but a few may go on to develop severe illness affecting the central nervous system such as encephalitis or meningitis. Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and individuals over 50 years of age are at higher risk for severe disease.”

Residents can take the following steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes:

  • Cover up when going outside between the hours of dusk and dawn (when most mosquitoes feed), and at any time in shady, wooded areas. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.
  • Reduce mosquito breeding sites around your home by getting rid of all water-filled containers and objects. Change the water in bird baths at least once per week.
  • Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET or Icaridin.
  • Make sure your window and door screens are tight and without holes, cuts or other openings.

Locations of standing water sites that have had larvicide applied this year is available on the Region’s West Nile virus page. Residents can also report standing water issues there.

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