August 12, 2011
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality reports three mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile virus. A pool defines one batch of mosquitoes caught overnight in one trap and sent for testing.
The mosquitoes were trapped in the Town of East Gwillimbury, close to the intersection of Centre Street and Doane Road and in the Town of Markham, close to the intersections of Woodbine Avenue and Highway 407 and John Street and Bayview Avenue.
Ongoing treatment of the catch basins in this area will continue, as well as the necessary treatment of surrounding stagnant water (such as roadside ditches) on public property.
These three positive mosquito pools are the first reported in York Region since 2009. Trapping mosquitoes is part of the 2011 York Region West Nile virus control plan. Traps are set up at various locations throughout the Region, with mosquitoes sent for testing.
The province of Ontario has reported mosquito pools testing positive for West Nile virus are on the rise. Forty-three positive mosquito pools have been found in Ontario to date this year, which is higher than the numbers reported during the same time period for the past four years. Residents should take proper precautions to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
The symptoms for West Nile virus illness consist of fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, severe headache and a sudden sensitivity to light. For a very rare few, the virus causes serious neurological illness, including encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).The risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito and becoming seriously ill as a result of West Nile virus is low. Approximately four out of five people infected by West Nile virus do not show any symptoms of the illness at all. Those experiencing symptoms should seek medical advice.
Prevention and protection are the best ways to protect yourself and your family from West Nile virus. There are simple and common sense precautions that should be taken:
Mosquitoes breed in still water; eliminate stagnant water around your property which may gather in pool covers, flower pots, children’s pools, old tires and birdbaths
The 2011 York Region West Nile virus Control Plan includes:
For more information on West Nile virus or any or public health-related concern, contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or TTY 1-866-252-9933.
To review the current status of West Nile virus in Ontario, visitwww.health.gov.on.ca
Samantha Lemieux, Community and Health Services, York Region
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