News Release: Mosquito Activity And Surveillance Update
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For Immediate Release
Friday, September 27, 2019 | Windsor, ON
Although mosquitoes are considered a summer pest, it is important to remember that they also thrive in the fall. The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s (WECHU) mosquito surveillance and larviciding programs will continue into the fall months until the temperature officially changes for the season.
Recently collected data from our routine mosquito surveillance program identified a single adult Aedes aegypti mosquito in the City of Windsor. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is a tropical mosquito that is part of the Aedes species. It is capable of transmitting several viruses, including Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. These mosquitoes are small and have a black and white pattern on their legs and other parts of the body. The mosquito has tested negative for any vector borne diseases. Since the original discovery of the Aedes species in 2016, the WECHU has worked closely with the Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario, and the Public Health Agency of Canada to enhance the local surveillance program to capture and identify invasive mosquito species.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), another mosquito born disease, has recently caused human and animal cases in Michigan. EEE is a rare but potentially fatal illness spread by a number of mosquito species that have been identified in our region. The virus is spread from mosquitoes feeding on infected birds before biting humans. Currently there have been no reported human or animal cases of EEE in Windsor and Essex County. As a precaution, the WECHU is testing for EEE virus in mosquitoes collected through the routine surveillance program and will inform the public of any positive findings.
“The ongoing information we learn through our mosquito surveillance efforts are an important reminder to everyone that we should continue to protect ourselves and our families from mosquito bites. Until the first freeze hits, we are still at risk for mosquito bites and it is important that everyone take steps to avoid being bitten,” said Dr. Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health, the WECHU.
Here are some simple tips to help protect from mosquito bites:
- Remove any standing water in places such bird baths, buckets, old tires, pet water dishes and gutters around your property. Mosquitoes can breed in containers as small as a bottle cap.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a hat when outdoors. Light-coloured clothing is best as mosquitoes tend to be attracted to dark colours.
- Use insect repellents that contain DEET, Icaridin, or other approved ingredients on clothing as well as exposed skin. Always read and follow label directions.
- Make sure that door and window screens fit securely and are free of holes.
For more information on mosquito safety, please visit the Health Unit’s web page. Call 311 or your local by-law enforcement for standing water observed in your community.
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
519-258-2146 ext. 6397 (NEWS)