Niagara Region's First Case of West Nile Virus for 2013
Niagara Region, Aug. 15, 2013 -
An adult male from West Lincoln has tested positive as Niagara region's first human case of West Nile virus for 2013. The man is recovering at home.
"August and September is the highest risk period for West Nile virus," said Bjorn Christensen, Director, Environmental Health Division, Niagara Region Public Health. "We encourage everyone to take precautions in the coming weeks by dressing to minimize areas that mosquitos may bite and using mosquito repellant."
Although most people infected with West Nile virus do not get sick, about one per cent suffer serious illness. Fever, severe headache, body aches, stiff neck, confusion and sudden sensitivity to light are the most common symptoms of severe infection and anyone suffering these should see a physician.
Niagara Region Public Health treats standing water, such as that in catch basins, with larvicide to reduce mosquito breeding and decrease spread of the virus.
Public Health also monitors mosquitoes across the region for West Nile virus with the first mosquito testing positive for the virus in late July.
Reduce the Risk: Prevent Mosquito Bites
To reduce the risk of being exposed to West Nile virus, Public Health advises the following to prevent mosquito bites:
- Eliminating standing water around the home where mosquitoes may breed (e.g. bird baths, plant saucers, tires, toys, pails, and wheel barrows)
- Avoiding mosquito-infested areas
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts, hats, long pants, socks and shoes that cover the feet. This is particularly important at dawn and in the evenings when mosquitoes are most active.
- Ensuring insect screens on doors and windows are intact without holes
- Using an insect repellant containing DEET (30 per cent concentration for adults, 10 per cent for children over 6 months of age, none for infants younger than 6 months of age)
Residents with inquiries about the virus, or wishing to report dead birds for pick up can call 905-688-8248 or 1-888-505-6074, ext. 7335.
Further information concerning West Nile virus and what can be done to reduce risk of infection can be found online.
905-688-8248 ext. 7219 or 1-888-505-6074