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West Nile Virus in Perth

August 22, 2018

Presence of West Nile Virus Found in Mosquitoes in Perth

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has been actively monitoring mosquitoes for West Nile Virus (WNV) this season. The recent sampling in Perth has identified mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus.

This virus is spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The risk of illness from WNV is low; most people will not develop any symptoms if infected. About 20% of those with WNV may experience flu-like symptoms including fever, headache, muscle ache and rash. Less than 1% of infected individuals will develop meningitis or encephalitis. This is more likely to occur in those over 50 years of age and those with medical conditions or weakened immune systems.

“The Municipality had vacuumed out the catch basins in June of this year as part of annual maintenance,” says Ronald Ladd, Chief Administrative Officer for The Corporation of the Town of Perth. “We are working with the Health Unit to determine if any further action is required at this time.”

Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health for the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark region advises, “Reducing standing water in your yard can prevent mosquito breeding grounds and will reduce exposure to mosquitoes that may carry West Nile Virus.”

The risk of exposure to WNV around the home can be reduced by:

  • Eliminating mosquito breeding sites (including standing water in places such as bird baths, eaves troughs, tires, flower pots, kid’s toys and wading pools)
  • Wearing protective clothing (light coloured clothing, long pants and long sleeves, as well as shoes and socks) during peak mosquito times to prevent mosquito bites
  • Using mosquito repellent when outdoors at dawn and dusk. Apply insect repellents sparingly to exposed skin. Effective repellents contain DEET or Icaridin. Be sure to follow directions and use age appropriate concentrations. DO NOT USE personal insect repellents on children under two years of age.
  • Preventing mosquito entry into the home by repairing or replacing old and torn screens in doors, windows, and vents
  • Using netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure
  • Protecting children under 2 years of age from insect bites with netting when outside

Consult your health care provider if you suspect that you have an insect transmittable disease such as West Nile Virus.

More information regarding this disease and its symptoms can be found on our Insect Bites and Diseases page.

You can also call 1-800-660-5853 or connect with us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @LGLHealthUnit for important public health updates.

Contact

Susan Healey, Communications Co-ordinator, 613-345-5685 or 613-802-0550


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