Published: Fri, September 01, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Clark County woman diagnosed with West Nile

Clark County woman diagnosed with West Nile

With an upcoming holiday weekend health officials are cautioning people about an increase in West Nile VIrus (WNV) activity in Dane County.

Mosquito pools in Waterloo Region, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, Huron-Perth and Grey-Bruce have all tested positive for the virus this year. People 50 and older are more susceptible to severe WNV disease symptoms.

According to the CDC, the West Nile virus is an arthropod-borne virus most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes.

Other precautions include staying indoors during dawn and dusk hours, and removing pools of standing water.

"People may feel, with the end of summer approaching, that the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes is reduced", said Dr. Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

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According to the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project, while evening temperatures have begun to decline across the state, residents should continue to avoid mosquito bites regardless of where they live until the first hard frost.

Catch basins were treated in this area to stop emergence of mosquito species that can carry West Nile virus, and additional surveillance traps have been set up to gauge population density and determine if additional virus can be isolated. A person bitten by an infected mosquito may show symptoms three to 15 days after the bite. Most people with this type of illness recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. "Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle ache". And severe symptoms of the illness can lead to encephalitis or meningitis or even death.

- Use insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or PMD.

To protect yourself from the virus, it's recommended you wear light-coloured trousers and a long-sleeved shirt when outside.

Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flower pots, old auto tires, rain gutters and pet bowls.

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