The season’s first West Nile virus positive mosquitoes have been identified in the Region of Peel. The mosquitoes were collected from the Mclaughlin Rd S. and Steeles Ave W. area in Brampton.
West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that is passed to humans via the bite of an infected mosquito. To date, the Region of Peel has had no confirmed human cases of West Nile virus, and as of July 20th there have been no reported human cases in Ontario so far this season.
Although the risk of acquiring West Nile virus infection is low, the Region of Peel reminds residents there are simple things that you can do to protect against mosquito bites:
- Apply an approved insect repellent containing an ingredient effective against mosquitoes, such as DEET or icaridin, to exposed skin and clothing.
- Avoid areas with high mosquito populations, such as shaded or wooded areas, and take extra precautions between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear light-colored, tightly woven, loose-fitting clothing such as long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes and socks to protect exposed skin.
- Make sure all window and door screens fit securely and are free of tears and holes.
Peel 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. Report stagnant water sites 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 Peel Region.