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HomeNewsMosquitoes Test Positive For West Nile Virus In Peterborough

Mosquitoes Test Positive For West Nile Virus In Peterborough

KAWARTHA LAKES-Peterborough Public Health is advising the public that mosquitoes in the City of Peterborough have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV).

This is the first positive mosquito pool found in Peterborough this year.

As of August 6th, 2022 there have been 14 WNV positive mosquito pools identified in the province but no human WNV cases according to Public Health Ontario. Peterborough Public Health (PPH) sets traps weekly throughout the City and County of Peterborough to gather mosquito specimens for WNV testing in the summer and fall.

“Now that we’ve identified mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus in our area, it’s especially important that residents take care to prevent mosquito bites,” said Joshua Laite, Vector-borne Disease Program. “This is a good reminder for residents to get rid of any standing water in their yards and to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.”

Laite noted that the majority of WNV cases do not show symptoms. About 20% of infected people may have a mild flu-like illness with fever, headache, and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash and swollen lymph nodes or other non-specific symptoms that last several days. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, or eye pain. Less than one percent of infected people will develop neuro-invasive disease, with older age groups and males disproportionately affected.

Although the risk of becoming infected is low, PPH says prevention against mosquito bites is the best protection and provided these tips:

  • Cover up when going outside between the hours of dusk and dawn. Remember to wear:
    • a long-sleeved shirt or jacket and long pants (tucked into your socks for extra protection)
    • light-coloured clothing so mosquitoes are easily spotted
    • Wear special clothing that is designed to protect you from bugs when you know you’ll be outdoors for an extended period of time
  • Use insect repellant containing DEET. (DEET is a powerful chemical. Always read the label directions for use. Or, ask your pharmacist for help when choosing a DEET product.)
  • Clean up:
    • once a week, get rid of standing water around your home (mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water, even small amounts)
    • keep bushes and shrubs clear of overgrowth and debris (adult mosquitoes like to rest in dense shrubbery)
    • turn your compost pile often

The City of Peterborough has historically used the application of larvicides in the catch basins in the City and County. This is to help control the local population of mosquitoes to help protect the public from WNV.



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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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