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News Release

Third mosquito pool tests positive for West Nile virus

Jul 31, 2012
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has identified a new pool of mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has identified a new pool of mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus.

Test results confirmed the virus this week in mosquitoes trapped in the Bradford West Gwillimbury area.

This is the third mosquito pool testing positive for West Nile virus in Simcoe and Muskoka. Earlier this month positive pools were detected in Huntsville and Gravenhurst.

West Nile virus has been making its appearance earlier than usual this year in many parts of the province. The health unit’s manager of health hazards, Brenda Armstrong, emphasized that people should always protect themselves from mosquito bites.

“Finding positive mosquitoes is a reminder that West Nile virus is in our community and the public needs to continue to take appropriate measures to protect themselves,” Armstrong said. “The health unit is also continuing with its surveillance and control activities to reduce breeding populations in areas of higher risk.”

Bradford West Gwillimbury was one area pinpointed this year for the use of mosquito larvicide in municipal catch basins to control breeding of mosquitoes that could spread West Nile virus.

The health unit recommends the following personal protection measures:

  • Use an approved mosquito repellent, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Wear light-coloured clothing and cover up in areas where mosquitoes are present.
  • Try to stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active (dusk to dawn).
  • Remove standing water around your house or cottage.
  • Make sure screens on windows and doors are in good repair.

Although most people will not become sick if bitten by an infected mosquito, West Nile virus can cause severe illness in some people.

Symptoms include fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, severe headache and a sudden sensitivity to light. In very rare cases, the virus may cause serious neurological illness. Those experiencing symptoms should seek medical advice.

For more information visit www.simcoemuskokahealth.org or call Your Health Connection, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.

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