Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reminding residents to continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites when going outdoors. Ongoing testing of mosquito pools has confirmed the presence of West Nile Virus (WNV) in the Ottawa mosquito population again this year.

West Nile virus
Culex quinquefasciatus

West Nile Virus (WNV) is an infection spread by mosquitoes that, in a small number of cases, can cause serious illness. Most people will not develop symptoms if infected with WNV, but some individuals –particularly the elderly or those with weakened immune systems– may experience flu-like symptoms.

There have been no reported confirmed or probable human cases of WNV in Ottawa in 2014. In Ontario, there have been two reported human cases this year.  In 2013, there were four confirmed and probable human cases in Ottawa and 53 confirmed and probable human cases in Ontario.

OPH has a proactive plan to deal with WNV that includes weekly testing and surveillance of natural and man-made standing water sites located on City property, such as ditches and storm water management ponds. As part of this plan, OPH uses larvicide in City-owned roadside storm sewers to reduce the mosquito population.