At this point in the summer, you may already have been on the receiving end of a couple mosquito bites.
Now, the Middlesex-London Health Unit is advising you to be more cautious when it comes to protecting yourself.
Tests in the Pond Mills area have come back positive for West Nile Virus, which can trigger flu-like symptoms for people who are infected by it.
Vector-Borne Disease Coordinator with the health unit Jeremy Hogeveen said they’re not looking to scare anybody with the warning.
“This is nothing new. This is typical for Middlesex-London when we do have positive mosquito pools, which we have had going all the way back to 2002,” he said. “They do typically start to show up around this time, early August, mid-August, and then we start to get into the end of August, into September, even into October, is when we start to get into the human cases.”
The health unit is issuing a reminder to spray yourself with insect repellant that contains DEET, as well as wear light-coloured, long sleeve shirts and pants. It also recommends not going outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most likely to be outside and biting.
Hogeveen is asking Londoners to go further in preventing mosquito bites, and the disease from spreading.
“The ones that are going to be biting you in your backyard or when you’re sitting on the deck are most likely developing on your property or very close to your property. So removing that standing water, kiddie pools, ornamental ponds — having those circulated, putting a screen over a rain barrel, changing your bird bath water, keeping your eaves troughs clean, all sorts of things like that, just removing any of that standing water will go a long way.”
About 80 per cent of people who are infected by West Nile Virus don’t actually produce symptoms — less than one per cent of those infected become seriously ill.
So far, the health unit says they have had no human cases this year. Last year, it reported one case of West Nile Virus in a human, none in 2014, and seven in 2012.