The Regional Municipality Of York

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Warmer weather is almost here; are you ready to Fight the Bite against mosquitos and ticks?

Protect yourself and your family from vector-borne diseases this summer

Newmarket – The Regional Municipality of York begins its 2018 vector-borne disease program this May to limit the impact of West Nile virus and Lyme disease throughout the Region.

“The safety of our residents is our number one priority. York Region is committed to taking all necessary steps to reduce the impact of vector-borne diseases on the community through surveillance, prevention and public education,” said Dr. Karim Kurji, York Region’s Medical Officer of Health.

Vector-Borne diseases are transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito or tick. Ontario Public Health units manage these diseases in accordance with the Health Protection and Promotion Act and the Ontario Public Health Standards.

In 2017, West Nile virus activity increased within York Region. Last year’s spring and summer months were among the 10 wettest recorded since 1948. Wet conditions provided ample standing water for mosquito breeding.

In 2017, there were significantly more cases of Lyme disease reported in York Region compared to previous years. Residents submitted 113 ticks through the passive tick surveillance program for identification, double the number of ticks submitted in 2016. Public Health has identified two new risk areas through active tick surveillance; in Joker’s Hill, King Township and the York Regional Forest North Tract, Whitchurch-Stouffville. Blacklegged ticks have also been found in the Boyd and Kortright Conservation Areas, City of Vaughan.

Prevention is the best defense against West Nile virus and Lyme disease. If you plan on heading outdoors this spring and summer, follow these tips to Fight the Bite:

  • Cover up with light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Clean up standing water around your home where mosquitoes like to breed (flower pots, old tires, tin cans, pool covers)
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET or icaridin
  • Check yourself and your children for ticks
  • Remove attached ticks as quickly as possible

For more information on vector-borne diseases, contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or TTY 1-866-252-9933.

More information is available at and

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns, and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents and 51,000 businesses with 620,000 employees.

More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at

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Media Contact:
Catherine Vettese Corporate Communications,
The Regional Municipality of York
Phone:  1-877-464-9675  ext. 71233 or
Cell: 905-251-6413

Fight the bite; mosquitos; ticks The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release