West Nile virus mosquitoes found near Appleby Line

Two batches of mosquitoes trapped last week in the City of Burlington and the Town of Oakville including areas north of the QEW near Appleby Line have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These are the first two batches of WNV positive mosquitoes for Halton this year.

“In looking at our West Nile virus data since 2002, it is clear that August and September are the months with the highest risk for Halton residents to become infected with West Nile virus,” said Dr. Monir Taha, Halton Region Associate Medical Officer of Health. “Now and until the hard frosts of fall set in, Halton residents should take extra efforts to protect themselves against mosquito bites and remove mosquito breeding sites.”

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 in objects that can hold standing water such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys, and tires.

The following are steps that residents can take to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes:

  • Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.

  • Avoid being outdoors from early evening to morning when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite, as well as at any time in shady, wooded areas.

  • 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.

  • A map showing the locations of standing water sites that have had larvicide applied is available at halton.ca/wnv.

To report standing water at public facilities or for more information about West Nile virus, please visit Halton.ca/wnv, dial 311or e-mail wnv@halton.ca.