The Regional Municipality of York begins its 2019 vector-bore disease program this May to limit the impact of vector-borne diseases including West Nile virus, Lyme disease and Zika virus.
Vector-borne diseases are transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected vector, such as a mosquito or tick. Ontario Public Health units manage these diseases in accordance with the Health Protection and Promotion Act and the Ontario Public Health Standards.
In 2018, 16 mosquito traps tested positive for West Nile virus and three human cases were reported. Twenty eight black-legged ticks were found at high risk locations with one tick testing positive for Borellia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease.
Residents are reminded about the importance of protecting themselves and their family. Follow these simple tips if heading outdoors:
- Wear light-coloured clothes and long-sleeved tops to help spot ticks and deter mosquitoes
- Clean up standing water around your home where mosquitoes like to bread (flower pots, old tires, tin cans, pool covers)
- Choose closed toe footwear
- Use insect repellent containing DEET
- Search your body for ticks, especially through the groin, scalp, back and underarm areas
- Remove attached ticks from your body as quickly as possible and report to York Region Public Health