Saskatchewan’s mosquito surveillance program has discovered some pesky – and potentially life-threatening – insects.
According to the province, mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus were found on July 11 in traps in the Estevan area – a few weeks earlier than last year.
Dr. Lanre Medu, the Sun Country Health Region’s medical health officer, warned people in the area that the risk of West Nile virus infection is increasing.
“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 said in a news release Thursday.
“People who work outside, especially at dusk and 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.”
Dr. Medu reminded people to take precautions to reduce infection from West Nile virus for the rest of the summer.
The province recommends the “five D’s”:
- DEET – wear an effective insect repellant that contains DEET. The province said repellents with Icaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are also effective.
- Drain standing water in things like wading pools, wheelbarrows, containers, rain downspouts and gutters, pet dishes and bird baths. Reduce places where adult mosquitoes can thrive in your backyard, like tall grasses and weeds.
- Dusk and dawn are when the province recommends reducing the amount of time spent outdoors. That’s when mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are particularly active, with the peak time being the two hours after sunset.
- Dress appropriately by wearing long sleeves and long pants – lightweight to minimize the chance of heat-induced illnesses. The province also warned mosquitoes could be attracted to perfumes and colognes.
- Doors and windows should have tight-fitting screens to help mosquito-proof homes. The province recommends repair or replacing any torn screens.