News release

Take Steps To Protect Against Mosquitoes Bites

Even though fall is here, mosquito populations are still around because of high temperatures and unseasonably warmer weather across the province.

Mosquitoes can transmit viruses to humans, and the Department of Health Promotion and Protection encourages Nova Scotians to take precautions to reduce mosquito bites.

"In the province, we continue to monitor for West Nile Virus and a new emerging virus that can cause Eastern Equine Encephalitis in horses and humans, as they are both transmitted by mosquitoes," said Teri Cole, communicable disease and prevention control co-ordinator with Health Promotion and Protection. "The risk of contracting Eastern Equine Encephalitis is very low in Nova Scotia, but everyone should be diligent and take steps to protect themselves."

Last year, four horses in Nova Scotia died of confirmed Eastern Equine Encephalitis. While the eastern United States are seeing cases this year, Quebec is the only province in Canada to report any horse cases. There have been no confirmed human cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis acquired in Canada.

While Nova Scotia has not had any confirmed cases of the virus this year, surveillance continues. Nova Scotia has also had very low West Nile activity in the past. The viruses can only be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes.

To reduce mosquito bites:

  • limit time outdoors between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active
  • wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible
  • use repellents containing DEET
  • check around your home and empty any standing pools of water where mosquitoes can lay eggs
  • regularly empty outdoor pet dishes, wading pools, livestock watering tanks, bird baths
  • ensure screens on doors and windows fit tightly and have no holes
  • clean gutters from leaves and debris regularly.

For more information on West Nile visit www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/cdpc/wnv.asp . For information on Eastern Equine Encephalitis visit www.cdc.gov/easternequineencephalitis/gen/ga.html .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Even though fall is here, mosquito populations are still around due to high temperatures and unseasonably warmer weather across the province.

Mosquitoes can transmit viruses to humans, and the Department of Health Promotion and Protection encourages Nova Scotians to take precautions to reduce mosquito bites.

Teri Cole, communicable disease and prevention control coordinator with Health Promotion and Protection, says the risk of transmission is low, but everyone should be diligent in mosquito protection efforts.

In Nova Scotia, West Nile Virus and a new emerging virus that can cause Eastern Equine Encephalitis can only be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes.

Nova Scotia has not seen any confirmed cases of either virus this year, and both human and horse surveillance are ongoing.

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Media Contact:

Tony Kiritsis
Health Promotion and Protection 902-424-0585 E-mail: