According to the officials, the West Nile virus is here to stay, appearing in many cities and affecting people. Huron County has trapped mosquitoes which tested positive for the virus, while Hamilton has reported the first human case of infection.
Huron County And Hamilton Reports
According to the officials in Huron County, every week, the Health Unit traps mosquitoes and takes samples to see if they’re positive for the deadly virus. The August 22 samples tested positive for West Nile.
Neighboring health units also reported mosquitoes that tested positive this year.
The city of Hamilton reported that they have the first human case of West Nile this summer, which made the Medical Officer of Health move the risk of contracting the virus to high.
The mosquitoes in the city continue to test positive for the virus. Meanwhile, workers spread larvicide treatments on city street catch basins and applied treatment to surface waters on public property.
How to Keep Mosquitoes Away
Public Health physician Dr. Bart Harvey stated that the public should take precautions, as the virus is present in the cities:
“The risk of being infected with West Nile virus exists locally. Please continue to take precautions to avoid illness spread by mosquitos.”
His recommendations are to use insect repellent containing DEET or Icaridin, to wear light-colored and long-sleeved shirts, long pants and closed-toe shoes. He also added that we must “remove standing water on your property to prevent mosquito breeding,” like buckets of water, pools, pet water dishes, gutters, old tires and so on.
Other recommendations are to make sure that the screens at the windows and doors are not torn or have no holes in them.
The West Nile virus can be fatal to old adults or people with weak immune systems. Most healthy people have no symptoms. Severe symptoms are inflammation of the brain, and if not treated, it is deadly. Usually, symptoms can appear within the first 2-14 days after being bitten by a mosquito infected with the virus.
Unfortunately, “the risk of West Nile virus will drop once there is a heavy frost that reduces the number of mosquitoes,” concluded Dr. Harvey.
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.