West Nile virus alert issued for Peel after infected mosquitoes found in Brampton

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Published July 8, 2024 at 10:55 am

west nile virus mississauga brampton caledon peel mosquito

Health officials are urging residents to keep safety in mind while outdoors this summer after mosquitoes in Brampton tested positive for the disease.

Peel Public Health said on Monday that mosquitoes collected from a trap near the intersection of Church Street and Centre Street in Brampton have been identified as carrying the virus.

The region says the discovery is the season’s first confirmed case of West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon.

There are more than 30 mosquito traps across the region monitored during the summer for West Nile virus, which can potentially spread to humans.

West Nile virus can be passed to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.

There are no vaccines to prevent contracting West Nile virus. And while cases of humans getting infected are low, the region is reminding residents to be aware of the risks this summer.

Here are some tips to help you avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes this summer:

  • Wear a Health Canada approved insect repellent can help prevent mosquito bites, especially those containing an ingredient like DEET or icaridin.
  • Use a mosquito net for babies or young children when outdoors, in a crib or stroller.
  • 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.
  • Remove or drain items on your property that hold stagnant water.

The region says water that is stagnant for more than seven days is an ideal breeding site for mosquitoes. You can report stagnant water sites to Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700 (or toll-free at 905-584-2216 in Caledon) or online.

Mosquitoes from the region’s traps are collected and tested weekly from June to September to monitor the spread of West Nile virus.

Peel Public Health also treats regional catch basins and bodies of stagnant water with a larvicide to help reduce breeding and minimize mosquito populations.

For more information or to report a stagnant water site visit www.PeelRegion.ca.

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