The Regional Municipality of Durham


News Release

Durham Region reports season's first West Nile virus positive mosquitoes

WHITBY, ON August 11, 2016 - Durham Region Health Department has received notification of adult mosquitoes that have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). The two mosquito pools were collected on August 8 from one of the Health Department’s permanent mosquito trap sites located in Ajax. Positive confirmation was received by the Health Department on August 11. These are the first mosquitoes in Durham Region to test positive for WNV this season.

“As positive mosquito results have been confirmed locally, it’s important for area residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and remove standing water from their properties,” said Ross MacEachern, Manager, Environmental Health with the Health Department.

WNV is a mosquito-borne disease that is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected by feeding on the blood of a bird that carries the virus. The disease is not passed from person to person or from bird to person. Most people who contract the virus will experience mild illness including fever, headache, body ache, nausea, vomiting and rash on the chest, stomach or back. More serious symptoms can include muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, tremors, numbness and sudden sensitivity to light. Symptoms usually develop between two and 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Although the risk of becoming infected is low, residents should still take the following precautions to minimize the risk of mosquito bites and the possibility of being infected with WNV:

Durham Region Health Department sets mosquito traps across the Region and submits mosquitoes for laboratory testing every week between June and September. In addition, Regional catch basins and other stagnant water sites are treated with a larvicide to reduce mosquito breeding. For more information on WNV, please call the Health Department’s Environmental Help Line at 905-723-3818 or 1-888-777-9613 or visit durham.ca/westnile.

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Media inquiries:

Regional Municipality of Durham:
Alicia Cowan - Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2952 or alicia.cowan@durham.ca

If this information is required in an accessible format, please contact the Accessibility Co-ordinator at 1-800-372-1102 extension 2009.

For more information, please contact Health Department.