Sunday, October 17, 2021

West Nile Virus detected on Walpole Island

Lambton Public Health (LPH) has been advised by Indigenous Services Canada that mosquitoes collected from two traps located on Walpole Island on September 9 and September 14 have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

These are the first positive results for the virus in Lambton County this year.

No positive human cases of West Nile have been confirmed to date in the County.

Jessica Zehnal, Supervisor of Health Protection with Lambton Public Health, recommends residents take precautions to prevent exposure to mosquitoes, and eliminate mosquito breeding sites on their property.

“Although we are heading into the fall season, and Lambton Public Health’s weekly monitoring is coming to a close, it is important to note that biting mosquitoes can pose a risk for West Nile Virus until the first hard frosts of the fall occur,” said Zehnal, in a media release.

“Please continue to take all possible precautions to reduce your risk.”

West Nile Virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.

The majority of people infected with West Nile Virus do not get sick.

Those who do become ill usually experience mild flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, skin rash or muscle aches.

Less than one percent of people infected with the virus become seriously ill.

To reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes:

– Avoid areas with high mosquito populations.

– Take extra precautions from dusk to dawn when mosquito activity is high.

– Wear protective, light-coloured clothing.

– Use repellants containing DEET or Icaridin. Follow label instructions carefully.

To reduce mosquito breeding areas:

– Drain areas of standing or stagnant water on your property.

– Remove old tires; turn over pails, toys and wheelbarrows.

– Change water in bird baths (at least weekly).

– Keep eaves clear to avoid trapped water.

For more information, contact the West Nile Virus information line at 519-383-3824, toll-free at
1-800-667-1839 (ext. 3824), or online at www.lambtonpublichealth.ca.

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