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Three confirmed cases of West Nile virus in Ontario – How to protect yourself

Tuesday, July 28th 2020, 4:30 pm - Three cases of West Nile virus have been confirmed in Ontario. Here are three ways to prevent contracting the virus.

Though we're collectively battling a novel virus, we still have to be cautious of ones that pop up seasonally. West Nile virus is contracted through mosquito bites. Three cases have just been confirmed around Ontario.

The three cases were all reported on July 27, 2020. Health officials have confirmed that there are infected mosquitoes in the Peterborough, Windsor-Essex and St. Catharines regions.

People get West Nile virus from infected mosquitoes, who get it from feeding on an infected bird. Symptoms of the virus include fever, headache, body ache, nausea, vomiting, and rash on chest, stomach or back. More severe symptoms include high fever, severe headache, muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, tremors, numbness and sudden sensitivity to light.

HOW TO PREVENT CONTRACTING WEST NILE VIRUS

  1. Cover up When going outside during mosquito feeding hours (between dusk and dawn), wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks. We've all fallen into the trap of just slipping on sandals. Wear light coloured clothing and special protectant clothing if you're outside for an extended period of time.

  2. Tidy up Once a week, get rid of any standing water around you. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in any amount of stagnant water. Keep your garden in check, adult mosquitoes like to rest in dense shrubbery. Also, if you have a compost pile, make sure to turn it often.

  3. DEET up Whenever you're around areas with mosquitoes use a repellent that contains DEET or icaridin. You can always talk to a pharmacist to see what works best for you.

To learn more about using DEET vs using candles, watch the video below:

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