|Reports & Publications - Annual Report 2002 - 2003
Planning for West Nile Virus
In anticipation of the 2003 West Nile virus (WNv) season the Health Unit developed a West Nile virus Prevention and Control Plan to help to minimize human cases of West Nile virus within the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Health Unit geographical area. The plan has several components including animal and human surveillance, public education, and mosquito control. Animal indicators of the disease were monitored to determine if the virus was present throughout our region. Four crows tested positive for the virus in our district thus making it safe to assume that the virus was present throughout our region in 2003. As of the end of September all mosquitoes have tested negative for the virus in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark. Mosquito monitoring continues until at least one heavy frost has occurred. Human surveillance was completed through regular contact with local hospital staff to determine if any unusually high numbers of meningitis or encephalitis were present within our hospitals. As of the end of September there were no known human cases of WNv in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark.
Public education was an important aspect of our plan and was completed in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. This was accomplished through an advertising campaign, door-to-door mail outs, press releases and public presentations. The goal of our public education program was to educate citizens about WNv and how they could personally protect themselves against the virus. The goal of our mosquito control efforts was to help eliminate the possibility of human cases within our region. Our Health Unit contracted a pest control company to apply larvicides in catch basins within communities, with more than 100 homes and had a storm water infrastructure. Standing water was also treated in large urban areas and in areas where WNv activity was present.