West Nile Virus
As you may not be aware, “Camp Shalom” received an award plaque from the Natural Heritage League in 1992 for Protecting Ontario’s Natural Heritage through Private Stewardship. “Camp Shalom” now Countryside Camp & Conference Centre is part of the Bannister – Wrigley Sudden Tract Wetland Complex comprising over 200 acres of Provincially significant wetlands.
This wetland serves as a home to many species of mammals, fish, songbirds, waterfowl, reptiles, amphibians, and insects; including mosquitoes.
The Region of Waterloo is not planning on spraying for mosquitoes in the areas
on or around the camp property. They believe that the risk of someone contracting West Nile virus in this area of the region is minimal. Last year there were
no reported cases in our immediate area.
The Provincial Health Department and Environment Canada recommend two ways of avoiding West Nile virus: minimizing exposure to mosquitos and eliminating mosquito breeding sites. Since we can not and would not want to propose draining the wetland to eliminate a potential breeding site, I will offer you the following suggestions to help your camper avoid mosquitoe bites.
- When outdoors near the marsh at camp, have your camper wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a hat.
- Studies have shown that light-coloured clothing is best because mosquitoes tend to be more attracted to dark colours.
- When outdoors, use insect repellents on clothing. Health Canada recommends products containing DEET.
Measures we are taking here on the camp grounds include:
- Ensuring door and window screening fits tightly without any holes,
- Cleaning out eavestroughs regularly on all our buildings,
- Eliminating areas that may be condusive to standing water; rain barrels, garbage cans, flower pots.
For more information about West Nile Virus, call 519-575-4400 or visit the Region of Waterloo Public health & Emerergency Services site: http://chd.region.waterloo.on.ca/en/healthylivinghealthprotection/westnilevirus.asp prior to your visit to camp this summer.
Thank you for choosing “Camp Shalom” for an exciting summer camp experience.