As the Huron County Health Unit continues its regular mosquito trapping, it reminds residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites.
Diseases such as West Nile virus can spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. The Huron County Health Unit traps mosquitoes weekly and has them identified and tested.
“While we don’t have any positive pools so far, in 2017 two samples tested positive for West Nile virus,” says Public Health Inspector Keshia Hackett. “The easiest way to prevent infection is to prevent mosquito bites, especially during dawn and dusk when many mosquito species are most active.”
Here are some simple precautions to help protect yourself from bites:
- Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts, long pants and closed-toe shoes
- Use an insect repellant that has been approved by Health Canada. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions
- Check the screens in doors and windows to ensure there are no tears or holes
- Disturb or eliminate any mosquito breeding grounds on your property. Dump any standing water in places such bird baths, buckets, old tires, pet water dishes and gutters.
For most people, the risk of getting infected with West Nile virus is low. However people can be at greater risk of serious health effects if they are over the age of 50, have a chronic disease such as cancer or diabetes, or have weakened immune systems.
Most people infected with West Nile Virus experience no symptoms or have flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, stiff neck, weak muscles, mild rash, or swollen glands.
In more rare and severe cases, symptoms may include severe headache, stiff neck, high fever, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, loss of consciousness, loss of coordination, nausea and muscle weakness and paralysis.
For more information, visit huronhealthunit.ca.