West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes turn up in London trap – The London Free Press

Local public health officials are urging residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites after a trap in London turned up West Nile virus-carrying bugs – the first sighting of the virus this summer.

The Middlesex London Health Unit said the trap was near Springbank Drive and Wharncliffe Road, part of the agency’s regular mosquito monitoring program.

Most people — up to 80 per cent, the health unit says — who are infected with West Nile virus do not get sick. People who do get sick from the virus typically get mild flu-like symptoms. Less than one per cent of people infected with the West Nile get seriously ill.

The health unit wants homeowners to reduce standing water – a breeding ground for mosquitoes – by emptying rain gutters, flower pots, children’s toys and bird baths.

People should wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants when they’re outside, stay indoors around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active and use insect spray that contains DEET or Icaridin.

“While we continue our mosquito surveillance and control efforts in the region, we want to remind people across London and Middlesex County that they need to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites,” vector-borne disease coordinator Jeremy Hogeveen said in a statement.

Since the beginning of May, the health unit has been doing weekly mosquito monitoring at 250 standing water sites on public property.

When the team finds mosquitoes capable of transmitting West Nile virus, the health unit administers a chemical to control insect larvae.