If you like to spend time outdoors, you might want to take extra precautions to prevent contact with mosquitos.
The Halton Region recently announced that a batch of mosquitoes trapped this week in Halton Hills has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This is the fourth batch of WNV positive mosquitoes for Halton this year.
The region says the other batches of mosquitoes testing positive for WNV this year were in Oakville and Milton.
“Halton is committed to reducing West Nile virus in our communities through education and preventative programs such as larviciding,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health, in a statement. “Until the hard frosts of fall set in, Halton residents should continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites and remove mosquito breeding sites.”
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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 such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys, tires and other locations that hold water.
Residents can take the following steps 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, where possible. 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 window and door screens are tight and without holes, cuts or other openings.
For more information about West Nile virus or to report standing water at public facilities, click here.