West Nile virus found in Halton
Free Press, Champion, Oakville Beaver, Burlington Post, July 26, 2011

A batch of mosquitoes collected in Oakville has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV).
This is the first batch found this year in Halton Region to have the virus. They were collected in the area of Cornwall and Chartwell roads, according to a release yesterday from Halton Region.
“Positive mosquitoes are a key indicator of the risk of human West Nile virus infection. Hot, dry summers are perfect for West Nile virus. The months of August and September are the peak risk months,” said Dr. Monir Taha, Halton Region Associate Medical Officer of Health, in the release.
“Halton residents should keep taking precautions like covering up, using insect repellent with DEET, and avoiding the outdoors during peak mosquito activity.”
Mosquitoes can transmit the virus to humans after they become infected after feeding on the blood of birds with the virus. Older adults and people with underlying illnesses should be cautious, as they are more likely to develop the illness, the region said.
The Region provides the following steps for people to protect themselves 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.
The region’s Health Department has maps of locations of mosquito pools and standing water sites that have had larvicide applied on its website, available at www.halton.ca/wnv.
People are also asked to report standing water by calling the region at 905-825-6000 or emailing
wnv@halton.ca.