August 28, 2003
Newmarket: York Region Associate Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hanif Kassam, advises that a third mosquito pool has been tested and reported as confirmed positive for West Nile virus (WNv). The mosquitoes were trapped close to the intersection of Dufferin Street and King Sideroad in the City of Vaughan, near where the Regionís first two positive WNv mosquitoes were trapped.
"This confirms that West Nile virus is well established in this area," said Dr. Hanif Kassam, Associate Medical Officer of Health for York Region. "Residents need to be more vigilant than ever in taking the proper precautions to protect themselves from WNv."
York Region is increasing its public education efforts. Information about personal protection against WNv will be delivered to homes and businesses in the immediate area of Dufferin Street and King Sideroad. Ads also appear in community newspapers throughout York Region on what the public can do to protect themselves and their family. This includes:
York Region recently completed its third round of larviciding in catch basins as part of its WNv control plan. There will be enhanced surveillance of ditches and temporary or permanent standing water ponds, including stormwater retention ponds on municipal properties. Larviciding will occur where evidence of mosquito breeding is found.
WNv is transmitted by infected mosquitoes. In humans, it takes about 3 to 15 days after a bite from an infected mosquito for flu-like symptoms to begin. Most people infected will have no symptoms or very mild illness. Symptoms range from mild fever and headache to loss of consciousness, seizures, weakness on one side of the body and swelling of the brain resulting in brain damage. If anyone has any of these symptoms, they should consult a physician.
For more information on West Nile virus, the Regionís plan to control WNv or any health-related concern, contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or visit www.region.york.on.ca.
Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region