Marianne Wilkinson

Councillor, Kanata North

Ottawa Public Health continues West Nile Virus control program

As in previous years, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) will be coordinating a mosquito control program between June 10 and October 14, 2013 to control larval mosquitoes in order to prevent their development into vectors of West Nile Virus (WNV).

In addition to public awareness campaigns and treating standing surface waters where mosquitoes may breed, OPH will continue to use other types of WNV indicators such as mosquito surveillance to determine any human risk.

The 2013 West Nile Virus control plan consists of:

  • Public education on personal protection against mosquitoes;
  • Reduction of mosquito breeding sites on City-owned and private properties;
  • Mosquito control using a biological larvicide on surface waters and a chemical larvicide in non-surface waters and in sewage lagoons;
  • Asking residents to reduce prime mosquito breeding grounds by draining standing water from around their home on a regular basis.

Here are some helpful tips to help protect against mosquitoes:

  • Wearing light-coloured clothing, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when outdoors;
  • Using insect repellent containing Diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET), and following the directions carefully;
  • Avoiding the outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active;
  • Repairing or replacing screens on windows and doors to avoid mosquitoes entering your home;
  • Protecting yourself when travelling to locations where serious mosquito-borne diseases may be common.

Most people who contract West Nile virus will not exhibit any symptoms, or may experience mild illness including fever, headache, body ache, nausea, vomiting and/or 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 to15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Ottawa residents should also take proper precautions to reduce their risk of contracting an illness from other vector-borne diseases such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEEV) and Lyme disease.

For details on the exact locations and dates of larvicide treatments, or other information on the WNV and other vector-borne diseases, visit ottawa.ca/health or call Ottawa Public Health Information at 613-580-6744 (TTY 613-580-9656). You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter (@ottawahealth), our Blog and now on Pinterest.

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