Monday August 19, 2019 - Southwestern Public Health reminds residents to protect
themselves against the virus
A mosquito trap in Aylmer has tested positive for West Nile virus during routine
surveillance activities by Southwestern Public Health. It is the first positive
mosquito pool of the season in Elgin County.
Throughout the summer months, Public Health traps and tests mosquito pools across
Elgin County, St. Thomas and Oxford County on a weekly basis. With a positive pool
identified, Public Health is reminding residents to cover up and clean up to avoid
West Nile virus.
- Wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants, especially in mosquito-prone areas.
- Wear a bug repellent containing DEET.
- Regularly clean and empty water-holding containers like bird baths, wading pools,
pet water dishes and children’s toys, which could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Ensure rain barrels are covered with a fine screen and tightly sealed around the
- Clear your yard of old tires, empty flowerpots, buckets and any other debris where
- Keep grass mowed and bushes trimmed in high use areas.
- Make sure your doors and window screens fit tightly and are free of holes.
In Ontario this year, six mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile virus
and two human cases have been reported.
Amy Pavletic, Manager of Environmental Health, “The identification of West Nile
virus in a locally tested mosquito pool serves as an important reminder for residents
to use preventative measure to reduce the risk of infection.”
West Nile virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito.
Most people who are infected with WNV have no symptoms at all or have a mild illness
such as fever, headache, muscle weakness, and body aches. A few people will experience
a more severe form of West Nile virus, called encephalitis (swelling of the brain),
which may lead to a sudden and severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, and disorientation.
Seniors, immunocompromised people, and young children are at greatest risk for health
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About Southwestern Public Health:
Southwestern Public Health works with its partners to ensure the health of the whole
community. Formed in 2018 by the merger of Elgin St. Thomas Public Health and Oxford
County Public Health, Southwestern Public Health serves a population 200,000+ across
Oxford County, Elgin County and the City of St. Thomas. Our programs respond to
public health emergencies; promote healthy lifestyles; help prevent injuries, illness,
and disease in the community; and promote positive change and social conditions
that improve health. We deliver mandated programs under the Ontario Public Health
Standards and are regulated by the Ontario Health Promotion and Protection Act.
The health unit maintains its main sites in Woodstock and St. Thomas.