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News Release

Mosquito pool tests positive for West Nile virus

Sep 06, 2011
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit reports its first West Nile virus (WNv) mosquito pool this year.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit reports its first West Nile virus (WNv) mosquito pool this year.

Tests on a mosquito pool in east-end Barrie were confirmed positive for the virus on September 5. The health unit will continue surveillance for the virus in the area and throughout Simcoe Muskoka.

“Finding positive mosquitoes is a reminder that the public needs to continue to take appropriate measures to protect themselves from West Nile virus at this time of year,” said Brenda Armstrong, manager of health hazards for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. “The best way to protect yourself is to prevent mosquito bites.”

Although most people will not become sick if bitten by an infected mosquito, WNv can cause severe illness in some people. Precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes are an important safeguard against the virus.

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 (dusk to dawn).
  • Remove standing water around your house or cottage.

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.

There have been no human cases in Simcoe Muskoka since 2006.

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

 

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