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Winnipeg and Brandon expand mosquito surveillance

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Winnipeg-The cities of Winnipeg and Brandon are expanding their mosquito monitoring and identification services.

Deputy Health Minister Kelvin Herzen said in a news release Monday that the goal was to mitigate the effects of the West Nile virus.

“A key factor in keeping Manitoba safe from the West Nile virus is mosquito surveillance, which assesses seasonal risks weekly and ultimately guides public health responses,” he said. It was.

“The data needed to inform our response and minimize the number of human cases of WNV that may have long-term health effects by deepening our partnership with Winnipeg and the city of Brandon. Will be provided. “

According to Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman, the city will expand its coverage to include local governments within an hour and a half drive from Winnipeg. He said this would be a cost recovery basis.

“We are pleased to better utilize the city’s expertise to help monitor West Nile virus and help minimize the impact on the health of residents throughout the state,” Bowman said. Said in the news release.

Brandon Mayor Rick Crest said the city has been using mosquito control programs for decades.

“We are pleased to partner with the state to ensure that coordinated efforts are made to reduce the number of mosquitoes and the likelihood of WNV,” he said.

The city reports monitoring and identification data to the state weekly to determine what steps need to be taken to protect public health. The contract is in place for the 2021 season.

According to the Manitoba state government, mosquito surveillance involves catching adult mosquitoes in various parts of the state. Manitoba then uses surveillance data to determine seasonal trends and West Nile virus prevalence. This allows the state to determine if there is a risk of exposure that requires mosquito control and targeted communication with the general public.

What is West Nile Virus?

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can cause encephalitis, a swelling of the brain. It can also lead to long-term complications and death.

Some people infected with the West Nile virus have no symptoms, while others experience symptoms such as headache, fever, malaise, and body aches.

The risk of West Nile virus varies from year to year depending on precipitation, temperature and number of mosquitoes.

Herzen added that Manitoba can protect its health care system by protecting itself from the West Nile virus.

Between 2012 and 2018, 112 cases of West Nile virus occurred in Manitoba. The state said nearly 40% of these cases were hospitalized and 11% required intensive care.

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