Positive samples of West Nile in Portage mosquitoes
City of Portage la Prairie Parks Manager Dave Green said there is no current need to beginning fogging as mosquito numbers are still quite low in Portage la Prairie as of July 12, 2012. ...Staff photo by Angela Brown
The Province of Manitoba has identified a positive Culex tarsalis mosquito sample that is infected with West Nile in the Portage la Prairie area. This is the first in the season reported.
The mosquitoes that were infected were found during the July 1 week in Portage la Prairie and Sandy Bay First Nation.
To date, there have not been any cases of humans testing positive for West Nile virus.
"Every year for the last 10 years we have done surveillance in about 58 communities where we have different traps set up," said Dr. Shelley Buchan with Southern Regional Health Authority. "We monitor the number of Culex mosquitoes that are in the traps, to tell the percentages .. to find out when are we seeing more Culex out there."
She added experts are looking for positive samples of mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus.
"It has kind of dropped off everyone's radar the way the weather was in the last couple of years," she said. "It hasn't been conducive for West Nile. This year what we are seeing, although the Culex tarsalis mosquito counts are relatively low, they are going up. We now have two of the communities with positive pools and they happen to be in Portage and Sandy Bay."
It is expected the percentage of Culex tarsalis mosquitoes will increase in Manitoba with the weather trend for hot, humid conditions.
While the mosquito numbers are higher in the region at this time of the season, the Province reports there isn't a need yet to order mosquito fogging as yet.
The Province is recommending residents follow the standard procedures to avoid risk of contracting West Nile: limit the time spent outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most prevalent, wear mosquito repellant, as well as light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing.
City of Portage la Prairie parks manager Dave Green said currently there are not enough mosquitoes to warrant fogging in Portage, but crews are continuing to monitor the situation.
See more in Portage Daily Graphic.