Mosquito batches with West Nile virus discovered in Brampton

Published July 30, 2021 at 9:48 pm

mosquitobite

While COVID-19 restrictions are less and less present in people’s day-to-day lives, there is another virus that residents might want to avoid through smart use of bug spray–the West Nile virus.

Peel Public Health recently announced that mosquitoes carrying West Nile have been identified in Brampton.

On July 30, the region said it had been notified that three mosquito batches collected in the region (Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon) the week of July 25 have tested positive for the virus. 

The positive batches were collected near the intersections of Chinguacousy Road and Williams Parkway and Hurontario Street and Steeles Avenue East in Brampton. 

 “The Region of Peel Public Health monitors West Nile virus activity through 33 mosquito traps set across the cities of Mississauga, Brampton and the town of Caledon,” Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel’s medical officer of health, stated in a media release sent out earlier this summer.

“Mosquitoes from the traps are collected and tested weekly from late June to September. Public Health staff also survey public areas for stagnant water that may be serving as mosquito breeding sites and treat identified sites with larvicide.” 

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that is passed to humans via the bite of an infected mosquito. 

Although the risk of acquiring West Nile virus infection is low, there are simple steps that one can take to protect against mosquito bites:

  • Apply a Health Canada approved insect repellent containing an ingredient effective against mosquitoes, such as DEET or icaridin, to exposed skin and clothing. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Wear light-coloured, tightly woven, loose-fitting clothing such as long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes, and socks to protect exposed skin.

  • Avoid shaded or wooded areas with high mosquito populations and take extra precautions during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

  • Ensure all windows and door screens fit securely and are free of tears and holes. 

Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon residents can also help prevent mosquito bites by removing or draining items on their property that hold stagnant water.

Water that is stagnant for more than seven days is an ideal breeding site for mosquitoes.

Stagnant water sites may be reported to Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700 (toll free at 905-584-2216 in Caledon), or online at peelregion.ca/health/vbd.

The website also has more information about West Nile Virus and residents can also register to receive email notifications about mosquito activity in the area.

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