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West Nile Virus
West Nile virus is established in Ontario. It is a disease that is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. There is no way to predict how serious West Nile virus will be in any given year.

It's important you take steps that will protect you and your family from mosquito bites. The good news is, it's easy:

  • Use insect repellent when outdoors.
  • Cover up.
  • Clean up mosquito-friendly areas around your home regularly.

Use insect repellent when outdoors
  • Consider using federally registered personal insect repellents on exposed skin, such as those containing DEET. A light coating will do.
  • The concentration of DEET should be no greater than 30% for adults and no greater than 10% for children.
  • DEET-based repellents can also be used on top of clothing. Do not use it under clothing.
  • Several DEET-free botanical repellents are federally registered but provide a shorter time of effectiveness. If you are going outdoors for less than 30 minutes, these are safe, effective alternatives.

Cover up!
  • Minimize exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts or jackets and long pants.
  • Mosquitoes are attracted to darker, more intense colours, so remember to wear lighter colours if possible.
  • And if it's particularly bad out there and you need to be out for a long time, consider specialized bug-protective clothing.

Clean up Standing Water

The best way to keep mosquitoes away is to clean up areas where they like to breed. Unlike birds and other insects, most mosquitoes do not fly very far and tend to stay close to their breeding sites and normal habitat.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water – even small amounts. The life cycle from egg to adult can take less than 10 days.

It's important to get rid of standing water around your home on a regular basis – once a week is a good standard. Adult mosquitoes like to rest in dense shrubbery. Keep bushes and shrubs clear of overgrowth and debris. And keep your compost pile turned on a regular basis.

Click on this interactive web site to learn more about mosquito breeding sites!

West Nile Virus Fast Facts
  • WNV is transmitted by mosquitoes that become infected by feeding on an infected bird.
  • 4 out of 5 people bitten by an infected mosquito do not show symptoms.
  • Only about 1 in 150 people infected will experience serious symptoms.
  • Symptoms usually develop between 2 and 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Perth District Health Unit West Nile Virus Program
The Health Unit use these activities to track the virus in Perth County and help determine the human health risk:
  • mosquito trapping and testing,
  • mosquito larval surveillance.

The Health Unit no longer collects dead crows or blue jays and tests them for WNV.

If you find a dead bird you do not need to call the Health Unit. Instead, properly dispose of it by following the steps below:
  • place the bird in a plastic bag using gloves or a garden tool
  • make sure it is double bagged before placing in the garbage
  • follow up with proper hand washing.

If you find a dead wild animal of any type and want to inquire about testing, please call the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre (CCWHC) at: 1-866-673-4781.

Perth District Health Unit: West Nile Virus Plans and Reports
Every year, the Perth District Health Unit is required to produce a plan and report that outline its West Nile virus activities. As of 2009, the West Nile virus plans and reports were expanded to include activities related to Lyme Disease. Therefore, the plans and reports are now called "Vector-Borne Diseases Plans and Reports".

2014: PDHU Vector-Borne Diseases Plan

2013: PDHU Vector-Borne Diseases Annual Report
2013: PDHU Vector-Borne Diseases Plan

2012: PDHU Vector-Borne Diseases Annual Report
2012: PDHU Vector-Borne Diseases Plan

2011: PDHU Vector-Borne Diseases Annual Report
2011: PDHU Vector-Borne Diseases Plan

2010: PDHU Vector-Borne Diseases Annual Report
2010: PDHU Vector-Borne Diseases Plan

2009: PDHU Vector-Borne Diseases Annual Report
2009: PDHU West Nile Virus Plan

2008: PDHU West Nile Virus Report
2008: PDHU West Nile Virus Plan

2007: PDHU West Nile Virus Report
2007: PDHU West Nile Virus Plan

2006: PDHU West Nile Virus Report
2006: PDHU West Nile Virus Plan

2005: PDHU West Nile Virus Report
2005: PDHU West Nile Virus Plan

For more information please contact
Health Line at 519-271-7600 ext 267 or
toll-free at 1-877-271-7348 ext 267.