Media Bulletin - Chief Provincial Public Health Officer
June 7, 2007
WEST NILE VIRUS UPDATE #1
The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health reports that preliminary analysis from adult mosquito traps for the week of June 4 has identified the presence of Culex tarsalis mosquitoes in most communities with mosquito surveillance in southern Manitoba.
At this time of year, the risk of being bitten by a mosquito carrying West Nile virus is considered very low. Culex tarsalis mosquitoes are the mosquitoes most likely to carry the West Nile virus.
To date, no human cases of West Nile virus have been identified in Manitoba in 2007.
Manitobans can reduce the risk of mosquito bites by:
· reducing the amount of time spent outdoors during peak mosquito hours between dusk and dawn;
· using appropriate mosquito repellent;
· wearing light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing; and
· making sure door and window screens fit tightly and are free of holes.
Manitobans can reduce mosquitoes around their home by reducing standing water. To prevent the development of Culex tarsalis mosquitoes:
· clean and empty eavestroughs, bird baths and other items that might collect water;
· ensure rain barrels are covered with mosquito screening or are tightly sealed around the downspout; and
· clear yards of old tires or other debris that collect water.
Beginning next week, weekly average trap counts of Culex tarsalis by regional health authority will be available on the province’s West Nile virus website at http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/wnv. Updated information on the risk of West Nile virus will be provided to the public throughout the summer. Manitobans can check the West Nile virus website regularly for up-to-date data and information.
For more information about West Nile virus, contact Health Links–Info Santé at 788-8200 or 1‑888‑315-9257. Or, visit the Manitoba Health website at http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/wnv.