The first Culex tarsalis mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have been found in Manitoba for the season.
Manitoba Health says the mosquitoes were collected in the RM of West St. Paul during the week of June 18 to 24. This is the first mosquito pool that has tested positive in Manitoba this season.
The province says the first positive pool was detected earlier than normal this year, likely due to warmer temperatures in southern Manitoba this spring and summer. There have only been three other times in the last 20 years where a positive mosquito pool was detected during this week.
The risk of WNV infection depends on various factors including time of year, number and location of infected Culex tarsalis mosquitoes, and the number of days with sufficient heat. Risk of exposure to WNV is currently low but likely to increase in the coming weeks, as the highest risk period is historically in July and August. Manitobans are reminded that it takes just a single bite from an infected mosquito to contract WNV.
The province will share further updates on West Nile virus mosquitoes and cases with the public throughout the summer.