The first person to be infected with the West Nile Virus this year is a child from Manitoba. According to the province, the child lives in the Southern Health region, is aged under 10 and was probably exposed to the virus at the beginning of July.
The child was hospitalized as soon as he showed neurological symptoms.
Taz Stuart is a bug expert, stating in an interview with the Global News that the August long weekend is usually a time when infections with the virus can occur. But the recent dry and warm weather was perfect for the mosquito species called Culex tarsalis – which carry the West Nile Virus. And when they bite people, it usually goes unnoticed.
Although there aren’t many mosquitoes this summer, the numbers of infected Culex tarsalis species becomes bigger and bigger.
People from Manitoba are advised to use mosquito repellent, wear long-sleeved white clothes and try to stay indoors at dusk and dawn. Here are some other recommendations on how to make your backyard mosquito-free:
Empty and clean every place that has or could collect water, even the birth baths, and clear the yard of all items that can collect rainwater to get rid of all standing water. Make sure all the windows and doors have mosquito screening, they must be sealed around the downspout and check for holes in the screening.
What Are the Symptoms of the West Nile Virus?
Some people who get the virus can show no symptoms, while some other can experience fever, headache, and some body aches.
Some severe symptoms are common in old adults or persons with a weak immune system. Recovery is very slow in this case – it can take months or years, writes the warning on the Government Manitoba’s website. The severe symptoms can be: high fever, severe headache, mental confusion, coma, paralysis.
The officials recommend that if any of these symptoms develop, people must immediately go to the doctor. They also warn that there is no specific treatment for the virus or a cure.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.