London, ON – The Middlesex-London Health Unit is reporting the first locally-acquired human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) for the summer of 2023. According to Public Health Ontario, to date, there have been five probable and confirmed human cases of WNV in Ontario, as well as 222 WNV-positive mosquito pools.
“Five mosquito traps have already been identified as WNV-positive in Middlesex-London. This human case emphasizes the need for everyone in our community to take precautions,” says Dr. Joanne Kearon, Associate Medical Officer of Health, with the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “We must continue to protect ourselves and our families against mosquito bites, including wearing light-coloured long-sleeved shirts and pants, and using mosquito repellants with DEET.”
To date, the Vector-Borne Disease Team has administered three rounds of treatment on approximately 113,780 catch basins. The team has also completed 695 surface water treatments at approximately 195 sites on public property. The Health Unit will continue its surveillance and control efforts throughout the region and is reminding people in all areas of London and Middlesex County that West Nile Virus is still present in our community.
The majority of people (80%) who become infected with West Nile Virus do not get sick. Those who do become ill usually experience mild flu-like symptoms; fewer than 1% of people infected with the virus get seriously ill.
Other tips to help protect yourself and your family from West Nile Virus include:
- Wearing light-coloured clothing with long-sleeves, pants and socks in areas where mosquitoes are present, especially at dusk and dawn when they are most active.
- When using an insect repellent with DEET follow directions for use, especially for children.
- Regularly emptying standing water from garbage cans, wheelbarrows, toys, flowerpots and saucers, pool covers, tires, and other items around your home and yard.
- Cleaning and changing water in bird baths every other day.
- Ensure proper closing and opening of swimming pools.
- Covering openings in rain barrels.
To learn more about personal protection and the Health Unit’s surveillance and control efforts please visit: www.healthunit.com/west-nile-virus.
Morgan Lobzun, Communications Coordinator, Middlesex-London Health Unit
Dr. Joanne Kearon, Associate Medical Officer of Health, Middlesex-London Health Unit