First West Nile virus case in region confirmed

EASTERN ONTARIO — The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) has confirmed the summer’s first human case of West Nile virus in the region. Mosquitoes in the area served by the health unit tested positive for the virus in July, but human cases had only occurred in other regions of the province.

“This first human case of the summer shows that West Nile virus remains a concern in our area,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis on Aug. 10, Medical Officer of Health at the EOHU, adding that “residents should be aware and take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families.”

West Nile virus is spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. For most people, the risk of illness from West Nile virus is low. However, it can cause serious illness in others.

Residents can take precautions against mosquitoes and therefore against the virus by taking the following steps:

• Use federally registered personal insect repellents, such as those containing DEET. Use a light coating on exposed skin. Follow label instructions for proper application.
• Wear light-coloured clothing, long sleeves, pants and socks when outside.
• Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn, as mosquitoes are the most active at that time.
• Ensure that all containers in or around the yard like tires, pool covers, saucers for flowerpots, wading pools and children’s toys are regularly emptied of standing water.
• Ensure that screens, windows and doors are fully sealed to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house.

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