West Nile Frequently Asked Questions

  • Data for West Nile Virus in the Niagara Region

    Please check the Niagara Region's website for updated statistical information of confirmed cases of West Nile Virus.  www.niagararegion.ca 

    Categories: Municipal Works, West Nile

  • Does a person infected with West Nile Virus develop life-long immunity to future infection by the virus?

    The Public Health Agency of Canada reports that most Canadians who have been bitten by an infected mosquito have developed some antibodies to West Nile virus. However, their ability to fight off the virus depends on their overall health, and the ability to fight off the disease does decrease with age.Categories: Municipal Works, West Nile

  • What can I do to protect myself and my family from West Nile Virus?

    There are two ways to lessen the risk of mosquito bites for you and your family:

    1) Tips to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites:

    • When going outdoors use insect repellents that contain approved ingredients.
    • Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants and a hat. Light coloured clothing is best because mosquitoes tend to be attracted to dark colours.
    • Make sure that doors and window screens fit tightly and have no holes that may allow mosquitoes indoors.

    2) Tips to eliminate mosquito breeding sites around your home:

    • Regularly (twice a week) drain standing water from items like pool covers, saucers under flower pots, recycle bins, garbage cans, wheelbarrows, children's toys, etc.
    • Remove old unused items from around your property (i.e. old tires) which have a tendency to collect water.
    • Change the water in wading pools, bird baths, pet bowls and livestock watering tanks twice a week.
    • Clean out eavestroughs regularly.
    • If you have a pond, consider installing an aerator to keep the surface water moving which will make the water inhospitable for mosquito larvae.

    By helping minimize and maintain potential breading grounds around your property that can hold standing water, you can help protect against the spread of WNV.

    For general inquiries about West Nile Virus:

    Call 905-688-8248, ext. 7590 or toll-free 1-888-505-6074, ext. 7590
    (Mon-Fri, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)


    Categories: Municipal Works, West Nile

  • What is Larvicide and how is it used?

    The Niagara Region under the authority of the Medical Officer of Health conducts a program to control larval mosquitoes to prevent their development into carriers of the West Nile Virus. The Niagara Region determines where the high-risk areas are throughout the region. These areas include some storm drains and stormwater management ponds. The larvicide used is in the form of pellets which dissolve in water. This chemical is effective to kill mosquitoes in the early stages of their life. Storm drains are painted with a pink, white and blue dot to show it has been treated with larvicide. Exposure to this larvicide is not likely because the areas that are sprayed are inaccessible to the public. For more information visit the Niagara Region's website or call the Canadian Centre for Mosquito Management Inc. at 1-855-325-7035. The Canadian Centre for Mosquito Management focuses on the biological control of mosquitoes and the management of West Nile VirusCategories: Municipal Works, West Nile

  • What is West Nile Virus?

    West Nile Virus (WNV) is a virus transmitted to people mainly through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes transmit the virus after becoming infected by feeding on the blood of birds which carry the virus. The mosquito then becomes capable of passing the virus to people and animals by biting them.It is estimated that fewer than 1% of mosquitoes in any given area are infected with West Nile virus and overall risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito is low. Although it is possible to be bitten by infected mosquitoes whenever West Nile virus is active, to date most human infections with West Nile virus have occurred during July and August, at a time when infection rates in mosquitoes have reached their peak.Categories: Municipal Works, West Nile

  • Where can I find more information about West Nile?

    More specific information on West Nile Virus is available at the links below:

    Categories: Municipal Works, West Nile

  • Where did West Nile Virus come from?

    It was first identified in the province of West Nile, Uganda in 1937. Since then it has been identified in Egypt, Asia, Israel, South Africa, parts of Europe and AustraliaCategories: Municipal Works, West Nile

  • Who is at risk and what are the symptoms of West Nile Virus?

    Evidence shows that most people infected with the virus have no symptoms and do not get sick or have only mild symptoms. People with weaker immune systems and people with chronic diseases are at a greater risk for serious health effects. Symptoms usually appear 3-14 days after an infected mosquito bite.
    In mild cases there may be flu-like symptoms including fever, headache and body aches. Some people may also develop a mild rash or swollen lymph glands.
    For people with more severe illness, symptoms could include; headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, unconsciousness, tremors/convulsions, muscle weakness/paralysis. Anyone who has a sudden onset of these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.
    Any health questions regarding WNV should be directed to Niagara Region Public Health. The Niagara Falls Office can be reached at 905-356-1538.
    Categories: Municipal Works, West Nile