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News Release

Mosquito pool tests positive for West Nile virus

Jul 11, 2017
SIMCOE MUSKOKA – The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is reminding residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites following confirmation that mosquitoes collected from a trap in the Town of Collingwood tested positive for the West Nile virus (WNv).

SIMCOE MUSKOKA – The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is reminding residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites following confirmation that mosquitoes collected from a trap in the Town of Collingwood tested positive for the West Nile virus (WNv).

It’s the first lab confirmed evidence of West Nile virus in Simcoe Muskoka this year.

“Finding positive mosquitoes is a reminder that we need to continue to take appropriate measures to protect ourselves against West Nile virus at this time of year,” said Lori Holmes, the health unit’s vector-borne disease coordinator. “The best way for the public to protect themselves is to prevent mosquito bites and remove standing water from their properties to prevent mosquito breeding.”

The health unit recommends the following personal protection measures.

  • Use an approved mosquito repellent, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Wear light-coloured clothing and cover up in areas where mosquitoes are present.
  • Try to stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active (at dusk and dawn).
  • Remove standing water around your house or cottage.

Although most people will not become sick if bitten by an infected mosquito, WNv can cause severe illness in some people. Symptoms of WNv include fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, severe headache and a sudden sensitivity to light. In very rare cases, the virus may cause serious neurological illness. Those experiencing symptoms should seek medical advice.

The health unit will continue its surveillance for the virus in the area as well as throughout Simcoe Muskoka.

For more information visit the health unit website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org or call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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