The summer-time testing of the West Nile virus is underway in the Manitoulin and Sudbury districts.

According to a release, Public Health Sudbury & Districts is starting up it’s annual testing for the virus in mosquitoes.

The health units state in past years mosquitoes carrying the virus have been found in both districts.

The trapping and testing begin now and will continue throughout the late summer.

West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes get the virus by feeding on infected birds. The overall risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus is low. Symptoms of the West Nile virus can range from having mild to no symptoms.

Mild symptoms include:

  • fever,
  • headache,
  • body aches,
  • mild rash, and
  • swollen lymph glands
  • In very rare cases the infection can affect the central nervous system and cause serious

 

Symptoms including:

  • high fever,
  • severe headache,
  • stiff neck,
  • difficulty swallowing,
  • nausea or vomiting,
  • confusion,
  • loss of consciousness,
  • muscle weakness, and
  • paralysis

 

Late summer is typically the time of greatest risk for contracting West Nile virus. This is when mosquitoes can carry higher levels of the virus, and it is a time when people might not be as diligent about protecting themselves from mosquito bites.

 

Here are some simple measures you can take to protect yourself and your family:

  • Use an insect repellent approved by Health Canada and follow the application recommendations on the package.
  • Stay indoors, if possible, from dusk to dawn when mosquitos are most active.
  • Wear light-coloured clothing, including long sleeves, long pants, socks, and a hat whenever you are outdoors.
  • Check your window and door screens to ensure that there are no tears or holes for mosquitoes to get through.

Mosquitoes need only a small amount of calm, standing water to lay their eggs and for larvae to hatch.

 

Reduce mosquito breeding areas by changing or removing standing water at least once a week from the following areas:

  • bird baths
  • old tires
  • containers, barrels
  • flower pot saucers
  • swimming pool covers, wading pools
  • clogged gutters and eaves troughs
  • clogged drainage ditches
  • small containers like cans or bottle tops
  • unused children’s toys

For more information and resources about the West Nile virus, visit www.phsd.ca or call 705.522.9200, ext. 464 (toll-free at 1.866.522.9200).