West Nile Virus – What you should know

What is it?

  • A mosquito-borne virus named after the West Nile region of Uganda where the virus first appeared in 1937
  • Your risk of getting it is very low
  • Most people who do become infected experience no symptoms or have very mild illness

How does it spread?

  • Mosquitoes become infected by biting an infected bird
  • Mosquitoes can then spread to humans by biting them
  • There is no possible human to human spread and no bird to human spread

How do we reduce the chance of catching it?

  • Clean up area’s where they breed:
    • Old tires, flower pots, wheel barrels, tin cans
  • Drill holes in the bottom of unused containers
  • Change water in bird baths every other day
  • Cover rainwater barrels with mesh or screen
  • Check eaves and drains for water that is sitting
  • Throw away lawn rakings immediately
  • Turn your compost frequently

Protect yourself:

  • Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn
  • Cover up and use insect repellent for extra protection

 How to know if your Mosquito bite is serious (seek medical help):

  • Fever
  • Muscle weakness
  • Stiff Neck
  • Confusion
  • Severe Headache
  • Sudden Sensitivity to Light
  • Extreme swelling or irritation at the site of the bite

 Source: Ontario Ministry of Health

1-800-268-1154  http://www.health.gov.on.ca/


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