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West Nile found in area

NWHU-News Release

The Northwestern Health Unit would like to advise the public that a dead crow collected in Kenora has been confirmed positive for the West Nile virus. This is the first positive case of an infected bird in the catchment area of the Health Unit for the current year.
The West Nile virus is spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito, which in turn became infected by biting an infected bird. The virus is not spread by person-to-person contact, nor can it be acquired directly from an infected bird.
The risk of becoming seriously ill as a result of an infection with West Nile virus is low, and most individuals who become infected experience no symptoms or have a very mild illness, with fever, headache, muscle weakness or body aches. Those are increased risk of the more severe form of illness are individuals over 50 years of age and those with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of West Nile encephalitis (the rare, serious form of the disease) include severe headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, and altered level of consciousness and mental state.
Though the risk of infection is low, the risk still exists and precautionary measures should be taken to avoid unprotected exposure to mosquitoes, and; to remediate any potential breeding sites for mosquitoes recommended measures include:
-Avoid outside activities between dusk and dawn, if possible.
-Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants if you must be outside between dusk and dawn.
-Wear light coloured clothing when going outside.
-Use an insect repellent containing the recommended level of DEET, following the manufacturer’s label instructions carefully, especially as relating to children.
-Remove standing water (potential breeding sites) on personal property.
-Ensure that eavestroughs are draining properly.
-Ensure that screens on doors and windows are in good repair.
-Change water in wading pools, bird baths, etc. on a regular basis (minimum weekly). Turn over wading pools when not in use.
The Mosquito Surveillance Programme, conducted by the Health Unit, has been active since early July and, to date no WNv positive mosquitoes have been identified.