Here in the Metro Vancouver area, we have been quite fortunate in that the West Nile Virus has not arrived to any large degree. However, in the last two years there has been a growing presence of the West Nile Virus in neighbouring areas including both Washington and the Okanagan Valley. In fact, anyone who has spent even a couple days in these areas may have noticed that there seem to be quite a few more mosquitoes than is normal for this time of year.
The increased number of mosquitoes this year is likely due to all of the rain we have had. It is important to remember that though mosquito numbers generally drop at this time of the year, this is also when the species that carry West Nile Virus are most active. This means that August and September are actually the highest risk months for contracting the West Nile Virus. Thus it is critical that when camping or enjoying the outdoors, we continue to take precautions to avoid being bit by mosquitoes. Since Metro Vancouver’s neighbours both have the West Nile Virus, it is important that we adopt these precaution measures at home as the West Nile Virus may soon surface here.
The BC Centre for Disease Control published a warning that includes fantastic tips on protecting yourself and reducing mosquito habitat and even provides tips on how to apply mosquito repellant: