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276 | 01 | 53
96 | 04 | 00
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68 | 02 | 22
47 | 01 | 44
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Manitoba West Nile Virus Update #8

August 9, 2007

The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health advises that 16 additional positive human test results for West Nile virus have been reported in Manitoba since last week.

To date, a total of 58 individuals have tested positive for West Nile virus in Manitoba. Of these, six test results were identified by Canadian Blood Services routine screening and the donated blood units were discarded as planned. There has been one reported death from a West Nile virus infection in Manitoba this year, which was announced on Aug. 4.

As of today, new orders under Manitoba’s Environment Act are being issued to control adult mosquitoes in the town of Morris and the city of Portage la Prairie. Adult mosquito control based on orders previously issued will continue in Altona, Brandon, Carberry, Morden, West St. Paul, Winkler and Winnipeg.Manitobans are encouraged to reduce the risk of mosquito bites by:

· reducing the amount of time spent outdoors during peak mosquito hours between dusk and dawn;
· using appropriate mosquito repellent;
· wearing light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing; and
· maintaining door and window screens so they fit tightly and are free of holes.

Manitobans can reduce mosquito numbers around their homes and communities by reducing standing water. To reduce the development of Culex tarsalis mosquitoes, which carry West Nile virus:

· clean eavestroughs;
· at least once a week, empty bird baths and other items that might collect water;
· cover rain barrels with mosquito screening or maintain tight seals around downspouts; and
· dispose of old tires or other debris that collect water.

Historically, mid-summer has been the time when most people were likely to be exposed to infected mosquitoes. The highest risk period of exposure to infected mosquitoes may continue for the next two to three weeks.

The number of cases of the more severe type of West Nile virus (neurologic illness) in previous years has ranged from one to 35 cases per summer. The total number of cases of West Nile virus in previous years has ranged from three to 143. It is too early to know or to predict the number of severe cases that will be reported this year.

Additional information on human cases including age, gender, regional health authority of residence and likeliest area of exposure, as well as information on adult mosquito control schedules will be provided on the website as it becomes available at

The need for adult mosquito control under orders issued previously in Beausejour, Boissevain, Headingley, Carman, Deloraine, East St. Paul, Killarney, Niverville, Oakbank and Stonewall is under continuous evaluation.

It is likely that West Nile virus infected mosquitoes are present in all parts of southern Manitoba. To date, no evidence of West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes has been found in the NOR-MAN, Burntwood and Churchill health regions. The province continues to monitor adult Culex tarsalis mosquito numbers throughout Manitoba.

Health Canada has concluded the use of malathion for adult mosquito control in residential areas using ultra-low-volume application will not pose a health concern. However, people who wish to further reduce their exposure to malathion can take additional precautions including:

· closing all doors and windows,
· avoiding trucks while spraying is underway,
· turning off fans and air conditioners or setting them at exhaust,
· removing clothes and children’s toys from outdoor areas,
· rinsing any household items or toys left outside before using them, and
· washing fruits and vegetables.

Information on weekly average trap counts of Culex tarsalis by regional health authority and a list of communities where infected mosquitoes have been found is available on the province’s West Nile virus website at Manitobans can check the West Nile virus website regularly for up-to-date data and information throughout the summer.

More information about West Nile virus is also available from Health Links–Info Santé at 788-8200 or 1‑888‑315-9257.

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