If you’re worried about West Nile virus in Mississauga, you might want to take extra precautions against mosquitoes now, as three positive mosquito traps have been identified in Peel Region neighbourhoods this summer.
The Region of Peel has confirmed that the mosquitoes were found in Brampton in the Professor’s Lake area and the Sandalwood and Torbram area, and in the Bolton area.
“[Peel] Public Health maintains and monitors 33 mosquito traps that are set up across the cities of Mississauga and Brampton and the Town of Caledon,” said Paul Callanan, Director of Health Protection at the Region of Peel, in a recent statement.
“These traps are tested weekly from June to September and with this recent confirmation of West Nile virus activity, we are increasing our efforts in the area surrounding the positive traps by looking for breeding sites and re-treating catch basins with larvicide.”
Now that West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes have been found, you might want to take certain steps to protect yourself.
According to the Region of Peel, you should take extra precautions during dusk and dawn when mosquito activity is higher.
Wearing light coloured, long sleeved shirts and pants and using mosquito repellent containing DEET for anyone older than six months of age.
Children under six months can be protected with insect netting, reads the statement.
“Luckily, the summer to this point hasn’t been extremely wet, which has limited prime breeding conditions for mosquitos,” said Callanan.
“However, this can change from week to week and we urge people to protect themselves and do their part to reduce the spread of mosquito populations in their neighbourhoods and communities by removing standing water.”
Here are some tips you can follow to eliminate mosquito breeding sites, courtesy of the Region of Peel:
- Remove items that collect water.
- Turn over old tires or wheelbarrows; empty out pails and plastic wading pools; change the water in birdbaths often.
- Report standing water if present longer than a week on public property at peelregion.ca/health/vbd/rep-stwater or by calling Region of Peel - Public Health at 905-799-7700.
It’s true that West Nile became established across much of North America in the late 1990s and public health units, including Region of Peel - Public Health, run annual programs to help monitor and control the population of mosquitos that carry the virus.
Although many people show no symptoms, those who do might experience fever, headache, body ache, nausea, vomiting and a rash on their chest, stomach or back. Some people experience more serious symptons, including high fever, severe headache, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, confusion, tremors, numbness and sudden sensitivity to light.
If you have bitten by a mosquito and feel ill, contact your doctor.
For more information about West Nile in Peel, visit peelregion.ca/westnile
or call Region of Peel - Public Health at 905-799-7700 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.