Perth County mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus
Result not surprising given hot and humid weather, public health official says
Mosquitoes taken from a trap in the southern part of Mitchell, Ont., have tested positive for the West Nile virus — the first positive test result in Perth County since 2013, the Stratford-based health unit says.
"West Nile virus activity has been low so far across Ontario, but it's not surprising to see activity begin to increase since the weather has been so hot and humid," public health inspector Stephanie Carlisle said in a release.
Officials have been trapping and testing mosquitoes since June and applied one round of larvicide in roadside catch basins in Stratford, St. Marys, Listowel and Mitchell to reduce mosquito breeding. A second round of larvicide is scheduled for August.
No human cases this year
There have been no probable or confirmed human cases of West Nile this year in Perth County. Ontario's only positive test for mosquitoes with the virus this year was in Mississauga during the week of July 10 to 16, Public Health Ontario reported.
The last human case in Waterloo region was reported July 17, 2015. The last mosquito trap that tested positive for the virus was in the last week of July in 2015.
Residents are reminded to use insect repellent when outdoors — a repellent with DEET or Icaridin has the more effective protection. As well, wearing long sleeves, pants and light-coloured clothing helps, and people should take extra precautions at dawn and dusk because that's when mosquitoes are most active.
Homeowners should remove standing water from their property at least once a week to reduce mosquito breeding grounds.