Working together to stay safe and prevent West Nile virus

To help keep West Nile virus (WNV) out of our communities, Halton Region regularly monitors the virus’ activity across the province. Halton Region is committed to working with residents to reduce the risk of WNV spreading in the region, promoting safe behaviours to help you make smart, healthy choices.

Since West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes, the most important step to preventing the virus is to prevent mosquito bites.  Taking a few simple actions can make all the difference:

  1. Wear insect repellent with DEET or Icaridin;
  2. Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn;
  3. Cover up: wear light coloured clothing that covers your arms and legs; and
  4. Remove areas of standing water from your home. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water that does not flow.

To help control the mosquito population and reduce the risk of West Nile virus, the Halton Region Health Department treats areas of standing water, such as catch basins, with a larvicide.  This larvicide prevents the mosquito larva from maturing into hungry adult mosquitoes. You may have noticed some dots of spray paint on catch basins around your neighbourhood – these indicate how many rounds of larvicide have been applied to each catch basin.

Mosquito TrapHealth Department staff also set mosquito monitoring traps throughout the region to determine the level of WNV risk. The number and types of mosquitoes are examined and sent for WNV testing. If the Health Department determines there are West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes in the region, we inform the public to remind them how they can help prevent the spread of the virus in our community.

Working together to prevent WNV, we can make safe and healthy choices and keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhaltonLinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”