Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus found in Brampton

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Published July 23, 2021 at 11:39 pm

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While everyone wants to get outside since COVID-19 restrictions are being scaled back, mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus have been identified in Brampton.

The mosquitoes were collected in Brampton near the intersections of Chinguacousy Road and Williams Parkway, and Queen Street East and West Drive. It was the first time this summer that West Nile-positive mosquitoes were  identified in the Region of Peel. 

“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.

“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. The Region of Peel has yet to have a confirmed human cases of West Nile virus this year.

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 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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