Preventing West Nile Virus Infections

On behalf of Susan Healey, Communications Coordinator, Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit

(Leeds-Grenville, ON) The Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit would like to remind our citizens that we will be starting our mosquito surveillance program once again this June. This program will be carried through until the end of September. Should you see one of our traps in your neighbourhood, please do not disturb it. These traps are not mosquito control units, so they have no value to property owners, but they are important in identifying mosquitoes and providing a warning that disease causing mosquitoes are present in a given area.

We all play a role in preventing West Nile Virus infections, and when we all do our part we will reduce the risk of this disease in our community.

Each homeowner has the responsibility of removing standing water that provides breeding areas for mosquitoes on their property. Most mosquitoes do not travel large distances and thus those breeding within your space are likely to bite you.

The municipality is charged with the responsibility of ensuring proper drainage on municipally owned lands and public ditches. The roads departments have the knowledgeable staff and proper equipment to ensure this is achieved. Additionally it is a municipal responsibility to address complaints regarding standing water on private land within its jurisdiction, using applicable property standards bylaws. Should positive mosquito pools be identified in a municipality, it is also the responsibility of council to take the necessary control actions as recommended by the Medical Officer of Health.

The health unit has the responsibility of assessing the risk for WNV within the three counties each year. This is accomplished by conducting mosquito surveillance during the warm months. The presence of virus in these natural hosts is an early sign that the virus is gaining a presence in an area. The health unit is also responsible for following up any human cases of diseases and, more importantly, trying to prevent human cases by educating the public on strategies that reduce mosquito breeding areas and personal protection.

Individuals have the responsibility to protect themselves from mosquito bites by avoiding areas with high mosquito populations, wearing light-coloured clothing, including long sleeves, pants and hat, to cover exposed skin and using a mosquito repellent containing the appropriate amount of DEET.

Influenza Activity in Ontario Has Seen an Increase

by Kris Sample, Webmaster, Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

(Leeds-Grenville) To date, there has been an increase in influenza activity in Ontario. Across Canada, influenza A (H1N1) is the dominant circulating influenza A subtype. This is the same sub type that was responsible for the Pandemic influenza predominate in 2009. This subtype is contained in the trivalent flu vaccine this year. H1N1 affects those under the age of 65 and poses a particular risk to children under the age of 5.

The flu vaccine decreases the risk of adults and children getting the influenza virus. The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit recommend annual immunization against influenza for any persons over 6 months of age. It is particularly important that parents and young children be vaccinated to protect themselves and others from influenza. – to read more>

Being Prepared for Winter Weather

Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit – Dec 19, 2013

(Leeds-Grenville) In many cases weather forecasts can predict severe weather with some advanced warning.

The Medical Officer of Health encourages the residents of Leeds, Grenville and Lanark to be aware of the weather conditions and provides the following tips to help with preparedness:
– to read more>

Tips for Dealing with Cold Weather

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by Susan Healey, Communications Coordinator, Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, November 26, 2013

(Leeds, Grenville and Lanark) Another Canadian winter is here! Frostbite and hypothermia are real potential dangers especially for individuals who are out in the elements for long periods of time; those who have a decreased sensation in their extremities; and children.

Frostbite is the freezing of skin and the layers of tissue underneath the skin. It usually occurs when temperatures drop below -4 degrees C. Frostbite is hard to feel, so when enjoying the outdoors make sure to check for white or grey spots on skin or areas that have lost feeling. Sometimes tingling or pain can be a warning sign of frostbite. Frostbite usually occurs in hands, feet, nose and ears. – to read more>

Local Agencies weigh in on “FAT TALK”

Girls Inc. – Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit – October 10, 2013

(LEEDS-GENVILLE, ON) – October 20th – 26th is Fat Talk Free Week. You are invited to take the challenge to end “fat talk” by thinking twice about using statements that are damaging to self-esteem and body image. “Fat talk” isn’t about being overweight. It is the language that we use about ourselves and others when we talk about dieting, losing weight and appearance.

Think before using statements like “I’m so fat.” “I need to lose 10 pounds” and “She’s too fat to be wearing that swimsuit.” Statements that are considered fat talk don’t necessarily have to be negative; they reinforce the need to be thin – like: “You look great! Have you lost weight?” – to read more>