The Regional Municipality of Durham


News Release

Health Department reports second mosquito pool testing positive for West Nile virus

WHITBY, ON August 03, 2017 - Durham Region Health Department has received notification that a pool of adult mosquitoes trapped in Pickering have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This is the second pool of mosquitoes that have tested positive for the virus this season. 

“With this second positive result, it’s a clear indication that West Nile virus is in the community,” said Laura Freeland, Manager, Environmental Health with the Health Department. “As a result, we continue to remind area residents of the importance of taking precautions to avoid mosquito bites and to remove standing water from their properties to help reduce the potential of being exposed to the virus.”

WNV is a mosquito-borne disease that is spread to humans via the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected by feeding on the blood of birds that carry 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. However, 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:
Glendene Collins - Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999, glendene.collins@durham.ca

If this information is required in an accessible format, please call 1-800-841-2729 ext. 3094.
For more information, please contact Health Department.