WINNIPEG - Manitoba Health says this summer’s hot and dry weather has created ideal conditions for mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus to thrive.
Despite the drought drying up many sites where mosquitoes would usually lay eggs, some are finding water in unusual places like creeks and small rivers, some of which have stopped flowing, also due to the drought conditions. The province says this has made the water bodies ideal places for mosquitoes that carry West Nile — known as “Culex Tarsalis” — to lay their eggs.
Larval control will now be conducted along these creeks and rivers to reduce the risk of WNV to Manitobans by reducing the number of Culex Tarsalis that hatch and grow into adults.
The City of Winnipeg is planning to conduct larval control along the Seine River, Omand’s Creek, and Sturgeon Creek among others in the coming days.
To avoid the risk of getting West Nile virus, you can:
- reduce time outdoors when mosquitoes are busiest — from dusk until dawn;
- wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothes with long sleeves and pant legs;
- put screens on doors and windows;
- empty yard items that collect water; and
- use a repellent;
From 2012 until 2018, Manitoba saw 112 cases of WNV. Nearly 40 per cent of those cases involved hospitalization, and 11 required intensive care.
Manitobans can call Health Links at 1-888-315-9257 for information about the West Nile virus.