Nine Manitobans test positive for West Nile virus

Number of Culex tarsalis mosquitoes decreasing

Winnipeg Health Region
Published Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Updated Friday, August 24, 2012

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Fight the bite

Manitoba Health's West Nile virus website

Manitoba Health reports that the most recent surveillance information on Culex tarsalis mosquitoes shows that the numbers are decreasing throughout southern Manitoba. The overall risk of exposure to WNV infected mosquitoes is estimated to be low, but it is not a zero risk. Manitobans are urged to continue to take special care to reduce the risk of mosquito bites and West Nile Virus even though it may appear that there are not many mosquitoes.

To date a total of nine Manitobans from the Winnipeg, Southern and Western Health Regions have tested positive for West Nile Virus; this represents an increase of four cases compared to the number reported last week. Seven individuals reported mild non-neurological symptoms, one individual reported more severe neurological symptoms, and one case is still under investigation. The exposures are believed to have occurred in the Winnipeg, Interlake-Eastern, Southern, and Western Health Regions, all during the month of July. One case is believed to be travel related.

So far in 2012, 108 mosquito samples tested positive for West Nile virus have been identified from 24 communities across southern Manitoba.

Manitoba Health will continue to monitor the situation on an ongoing basis.

To reduce the risk of mosquito bites and West Nile virus, Manitobans are encouraged to:

  • Reduce the amount of time spent outdoors during peak mosquito hours between dusk and dawn;
  • Use appropriate mosquito repellent;
  • Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing; and
  • Maintain door and window screens so they fit tightly and are free of holes.

Manitobans can also reduce the number of mosquitoes around their home by eliminating standing water. To reduce standing water:

  • Clean eaves troughs and regularly empty bird baths and other items that might collect water,
  • Ensure rain barrels are covered with mosquito screening or are tightly sealed around the downspout,
  • Clear yards of old tires or other items that collect water, and
  • Improve landscaping to prevent standing water around the home.
Manitobans can check the West Nile virus website regularly for up-to-date data and information including weekly average trap counts of Culex tarsalis mosquitoes by regional health authority.

For more information about West Nile virus, contact Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free); or visit the province's West Nile virus website at:

Source: Province of Manitoba

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