The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health reports that additional Culex tarsalis mosquito samples infected with West Nile virus have been identified from the communities of Deloraine, Sioux Valley, Virden, Stonewall, Selkirk and Winnipeg. The samples were collected during the week of
The numbers of trapped Culex tarsalis mosquitoes have increased in most southern Manitoban communities, with highest overall numbers in the Assiniboine health region.
To date, no human cases of West Nile virus have been identified from Manitoba from the 2008 season.
With warm weather, it is anticipated that more infected mosquitoes will be identified in additional communities during the next few weeks, with an increasing risk of exposure to West Nile virus. In previous years, the peak risk period for human exposure to West Nile virus has been the last two weeks of July and the first three weeks of August.
At this time, no orders for adult mosquito control have been issued.
Manitobans are encouraged to 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
· maintaining door and window screens so they 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, homeowners can:
· clean eavestroughs and regularly empty bird baths and other items that might collect water,
· ensure rain barrels are covered with mosquito screening or are tightly sealed around the downspout,
· clear yards of old tires or other items that collect water, and
· improve landscaping to prevent standing water around the home.
Weekly average trap counts of Culex tarsalis by regional health authority are available on the province’s West Nile virus website at www.gov.mb.ca/health/wnv.
Information on the risk of West Nile virus will continue to be provided to the public throughout the summer. Manitobans can also 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 (toll-free) or visit the Manitoba Health website at www.gov.mb.ca/health/wnv.