Mosquitoes in Dresden, Windsor-Essex test positive for West Nile

Mosquitoes collected from traps in Dresden, Ont. and Windsor-Essex have tested positive for West Nile virus. 

There have been no human infections reported to public health at this time

There have been no human infections reported to public health at this time. (James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Associated Press)

Mosquitoes collected from a trap in Dresden, Ont. have tested positive for West Nile virus. 

According to Chatham-Kent Public Health, West Nile is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. There have been no human infections reported to public health at this time. 

Most people infected with West Nile have no symptoms, or they have flu-like symptoms of a fever and fatigue. 

Anyone with the sudden onset of severe symptoms including a stiff neck, nausea and vomiting should seek medical attention. 

Public health is encouraging residents to take protective measures when outdoors, as well as take time to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds by removing standing water from their properties. 

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) also announced Tuesday that it's identified two West Nile virus mosquito pools in the region. 

The health unit said no human cases of the virus have been reported in the region in 2019 to date.

"Windsor and Essex County residents should continue to protect themselves against mosquitoes," said Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, in a Tuesday media release.

"This is a good reminder for everyone to remove any standing water and to take personal protective measures to avoid mosquito bites."

Ahmed told CBC News that mosquito pools refer to traps set up across the community as a means of capturing mosquitoes for testing. 

While he wouldn't disclose the specific locations where the West Nile-carrying mosquitoes were found, Ahmed confirmed the pools were located within the city of Windsor. 

The WECHU tests approximately 20 different mosquito pools each week. 

In 2018, the health unit identified 27 mosquito pools that tested positive for West Nile virus. A total of 1,054 pools were tested throughout 2018.

Additionally, 13 human cases of West Nile virus were reported throughout 2018, down from 20 confirmed human cases in 2017. 

Ahmed said warmer weather and the presence of standing water can contribute to an increase in mosquito populations, which in turn leads to more pools that test positive for West Nile virus.

"If there's more rain in one season and if [there are] more hotter days in one season, we can predict that it may lead to more positive [pools], and as a result will lead to more positive cases of West Nile," he said. 

Toronto reported its first human case of West Nile this year on August 13. 


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