Lambton Community Health Services Department is encouraging people to take precautions against mosquito bites after two additional mosquito pools and one bird tested positive for West Nile virus in Lambton County.
A Petrolia area woman tested last week for the mosquito-borne West Nile virus, is now confirmed positive.
Mosquitoes collected August 8 from Avondale Street, Corunna in St. Clair Township, and from Maria Street in Sarnia tested positive for West Nile virus. There have been five confirmed findings in Lambton in 2012, including two at Petrolia and one at Aamjiwnaang First Nation.
A crow collected July 26 in northeast Sarnia has tested positive for West Nile virus. It is the first positive bird finding this year in Lambton County. Results of tests on two additional birds were negative.
"This is the time of year when people are most at risk of becoming infected with the West Nile virus,” said Dr. Chris Greensmith, (A) Medical Officer of Health for Lambton County. “We have clear evidence that West Nile virus is present in Lambton County, and we want to emphasize the importance of personal protection against mosquito bites and reducing mosquito breeding grounds.”
To reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes:
- Avoid areas with high mosquito populations
- Take extra precautions from dusk to dawn when mosquito activity is high
- Wear protective light-coloured clothing
- Use repellants containing DEET (follow label instructions carefully)
To reduce mosquito breeding areas:
- Drain areas of standing or stagnant water on your property
- Remove old tires, turn over pails, toys and wheelbarrows
- Change water in bird baths (at least weekly)
- Keep eave troughs clear to avoid trapped water
Mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting West Nile virus to humans. In Ontario, eight confirmed and/or probable human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in 2012. While the majority of people infected with West Nile virus do not get sick, those who do become ill and usually experience mild flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, skin rash or muscle aches. Less than 1% of people infected with the virus get seriously ill.
In an effort to track West Nile virus activity in Lambton County, the public is encouraged to report the sighting of ALL dead birds to Community Health Services by calling 519 383-3824, toll free at 1-800-667-1839 ext. 3824, or complete a form online at www.lambtonhealth.on.ca.
For more information, visit www.lambtonhealth.on.ca or call the West Nile virus information line at 519 383-3824, or toll-free at 1-800-667-1839 ext. 3824.