West Nile season is officially upon us.
There's been a batch of mosquitoes test positive for the virus in Milton, and there's been one confirmed human case near Rama, outside of Orillia.
When it comes to the positive test in Halton Region, the Medical Officer of Health there says, “Halton residents should protect themselves against mosquito bites and get rid of mosquito breeding sites now and until the West Nile virus season winds down in the fall.”
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 items that hold 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.
- Make sure your window and door screens are tight and without holes, cuts or other openings.