Mosquitoes Carrying West Nile Could Emerge in Weeks

Manitoba’s mosquito population has been kept at bay so far this season, but the provincial government is still warning about the potential risk of contracting West Nile virus.

The Office of the Chief Provincial Public Health Officer said in a news release Friday that none of the mosquitoes tested to date have had West Nile. Adult mosquitoes trapped for the week of July 3 showed low numbers for Culex tarsalis mosquitoes — the breed that carries the virus.

Trap counts as of July 10, however, have increased in some provincial communities. It’s possible there are infected mosquitoes present in southern Manitoba, with the risk of those carrying the virus to increase in the coming weeks with hotter temperatures.

Manitobans can reduce the risk of the virus by reducing standing water around their home — something that most homeowners do already. Other tips include setting up screen tents to enjoy the outdoors, particularly between dusk and dawn, and repairing window and door screens. Personal protective measures, such as using an appropriate repellent, will help to reduce mosquito bites.

On Thursday, the City of Winnipeg updated its own mosquito outlook, saying the current trap count sits at between six and 10, therefore not yet warranting the use of fogging equipment.


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