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Community Advisory - Increasing Risk of West Nile Virus in SCHR

As of July 20, 2017

Increasing Risk of West Nile Virus in SCHR – West Nile virus infected mosquitoes identified in Sun Country Health Region


Sun Country’s Medical Health Officer, Dr. Lanre Medu wants to notify the Region residents that the risk of West Nile virus infection is increasing. This past week, some of the mosquitoes (Culex tarsalis) that were caught in our surveillance traps were found to be infected with West Nile virus.


The provincial mosquito surveillance program identified infected mosquitoes in traps collected on July 11 in the Estevan area. This positive pool is occurring a few weeks earlier than 2016 and there may be an increase in the number of pools, increases in infection rates and possible human infections.


To decrease your risk of infection, Dr. Medu is advising residents to take precautions to reduce infection from West Nile virus throughout the rest of the summer.


Dr Medu recommends you follow the “FIVE Ds”:


1.       Wear an effective insect repellant containing DEET. Repellents with Icaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are also effective. Apply according to directions.


2.       DRAIN standing water. Mosquitoes require water to complete their life cycle. Eliminate or reduce all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs like wading pools, wheelbarrows, containers, rain downspouts and gutters, pet dishes and birdbaths, etc. Reduce places in your yard where adult mosquitoes can thrive like tall grasses and weeds.


3.       Reduce the amount of time spent outdoors between DUSK and DAWN. The mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are most active at dawn and dusk and also in the early evening. They are especially active for two hours after sunset.


4.       DRESS appropriately. Wear long sleeves and long pants (wear light-weight clothing to minimize the potential for heat-induced illnesses). Mosquitoes may be more attracted to individuals wearing perfumes and colognes.


5.       Mosquito-proof your home. Make sure that DOORS and windows have tight fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.


All people in the region need to prevent infections by getting rid of mosquito-friendly places in their yards and taking personal precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes in the places where they live, work and play. Dr. Medu says. “People who work outside, especially at dusk and dawn, and those who are camping over the next few weeks are at higher risk of being bitten by mosquitoes and should pay particular attention to preventing these bites.”


While the risk due to Culex mosquito is increasing, there is no need for adult mosquito control at this time.


For more information on WNV, go to the Government of Saskatchewan website




Media: Please contact Dr. Lanre Medu, Sun Country Health Region Medical Health Officer at (306) 842-8659.





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