Oxford County Public Health are reminding residents how to protect themselves against West Nile virus.
A mosquito trap found in Norwich has tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first positive test for a mosquito pool in Oxford County since 2012.
Oxford County Public Health is continuing weekly surveillance of the adult mosquito population in the area. Public Health is also reminding residents to follow these steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites and help prevent contracting West Nile virus:
- Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants when mosquitoes are most active (dusk and dawn).
- Avoid using scented products that attract mosquitoes.
- Use a bug spray with 30% DEET if you are an adult, or a specially formulated DEET product for children according to age.
Reducing mosquito breeding grounds around the home is also an important step in preventing bites:
- Don’t allow outside water to stand for more than seven days.
- Remove or drain standing water from bird baths, discarded tires, flower pots, wheelbarrows, barrels or tin cans that are left outdoors.
- Cover rainwater barrels with mesh or screen and drill holes in the bottom of any unused containers so water can’t collect.
In Ontario in 2016, there has been one human case of WNV reported and 94 positive mosquito pools as of August 20.
Oxford County Public Health undertakes a mosquito surveillance program each summer that includes trapping mosquitoes and testing them for West Nile virus. If there is an upsurge in the mosquito population and a serious risk to human health is identified through testing, Public Health authorizes larviciding to reduce the number of mosquitoes in the area. For more information, visit www.oxfordcounty.ca/wnv.