The Grey Bruce Public Health Unit is getting ready to trap mosquitoes at the boundaries of Grey and Bruce counties as they migrate north this year.
"We're going to be doing fairly extensive trapping," says Program Manager Bob Hart, adding "West Nile Virus typically moves from south to north and we'll be setting up a line of the majority of our traps along the southern boundaries."
The health unit hasn't done testing on this scale since 2012, says Hart who notes they're seeing an upswing in cases and positive mosquito pools over the last few years.
Last year there were three, and Hart says possibly four locally acquired West Nile cases after not having any in years. He's notes that seems to be the case province wide.
Hart says West Nile is often carried by birds who are bitten by infected mosquitoes while in the south, then fly north where another mosquito will bite the same bird and become a West Nile carrier locally.
Interestingly, Hart says the Bruce Peninsula is a migratory path for birds tend to follow coastal paths instead of flying over open water.
According to Hart, there were a couple of horses with West Nile last year. He says horses tend to get West Nile first, and can be sometimes used as an indicator of the onset of an upswing of the virus in an area.
He says they'll also be looking for black legged ticks which are capable of carrying Lyme Disease. Wile there were three people with Lyme Disease in Grey Bruce in 2017, Hart says they weren't infected by bites from local ticks.
Dogs tend to be more at risk.
Hart says they've established surveillance agreements with veterinary clinics in the area to report tick bites.