The number of mosquitoes with West Nile Virus is on the rise across the province, especially in southern Ontario, and the province is advising residents to take the proper precautions to reduce their risk of contracting it.
Eighty-nine positive mosquito pools have been found in the province to date, which is the highest for the same time period since 2002.
The province is also seeing probable and confirmed human cases of West Nile virus, which typically start to occur in August and September.
Dr. Doug Sider, Ontario's Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, is reminding Ontarians to continue protecting themselves from mosquito bites by:
-Wearing light-coloured clothing, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when outdoors
-Using insect repellent containing DEET, and following the directions carefully
-Avoiding the outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active
-Repairing or replacing screens on windows and doors to avoid mosquitoes entering your home.
It is also important for Ontarians to reduce prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes by draining standing water from around their home on a regular basis.
Most people who contract West Nile virus will not exhibit any symptoms or may experience mild illness including fever, headache, body ache, nausea, vomiting and rash on the chest, stomach or back.
More serious symptoms can include muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, tremors, numbness and sudden sensitivity to light. Symptoms usually develop between two to15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
- Posted by Jenny Jelen