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West Nile virus surveillance, conducted by the County of Lambton Community Health Services Department on September 12 at Bright's Grove, has detected another positive mosquito pool, the 12th positive test for the West Nile virus this year in Lambton.
The current 2012 West Nile virus surveillance numbers for Lambton County include:
- 12 positive mosquito pools – Wyoming (1), Oil Springs (1), Petrolia area (2), Corunna (1), Sarnia (2), Aamjiwnaang First Nation (4), and Walpole Island First Nation (1)
- Three birds have tested positive for West Nile virus – Sarnia (2) and Petrolia (1)
- One confirmed human case
“Despite cooler overnight temperatures, the current mosquito season is not over and the risk of human infection will remain until the first heavy frost,” said Dr. Chris Greensmith, acting Medical Officer of Health for the County of Lambton. “Residents are still urged to take precautions to prevent personal exposure to mosquitoes and to eliminate mosquito breeding sites on their properties.”
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 insect repellents containing DEET (follow label instructions carefully)
To reduce mosquito breeding areas:
- Remove old tires, turn over pails, toys and wheelbarrows
- Change water in bird baths (at least weekly)
- Keep eavetroughs clear to avoid trapped water
In Ontario, 158 confirmed and/or probable human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in 2012, including one in Lambton County. While the majority of people infected with West Nile virus do not get sick, those who do 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.