A mosquito batch collected this week in Malton has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). The positive batch was collected near Derry Road and Goreway Drive. This is the first batch to test positive for WNV in Peel in 2016.

This year’s summer has been hotter than usual, which has resulted in increased mosquito activity. More mosquitoes also increase the possibility of WNV transmission. While WNV typically is a mild disease in humans, rare complications can occur. Prevention is the best defence against contracting illness, so while Region residents enjoy the summer outdoors, Peel Public Health encourages everyone to make sure they protect themselves and their family by using an insect repellent containing DEET before heading outside.

Residents are asked to help reduce the mosquito population by removing prime breeding sites on their property. The most effective way of eliminating mosquitoes near your home is to remove items that collect water – wheelbarrows, pails and plastic wading pools and change the water in your birdbaths often. If you happen to notice standing water on public property, report it online at peel-bugbite.ca or by calling Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700.

Residents can further reduce their potential exposure to West Nile virus by:

  • Avoiding areas with high mosquito populations
  • Wearing light-coloured clothing, including long sleeves, pants and a hat, to cover exposed skin, even in your own backyard
  • Using an insect repellent containing DEET and applying it according to the manufacturer’s directions
  • Taking extra precaution from dusk to dawn when mosquito activity is higher. If possible, stay indoors.

 

For more information about WNV, visit peel-bugbite.ca or call Region of Peel – Public Health at 905-799-7700 from 8:30 a.m.