West Nile virus risk rising in southeast Sask.


Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus in Winnebago County

Chatham County Mosquito Control has confirmed samples of mosquitoes collected across Chatham County have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

Officials say mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus were found in three Utah counties.

The state Department of Health and Human Services announced the death on Friday as a warning to others to protect from mosquito-borne illnesses. And one person in East Baton Rouge was infected with the virus but showed no symptoms.

West Nile virus is carried by birds and transmitted by mosquitoes.

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County Vector Control officials said West Nile virus has been present in San Diego County since 2003. In about 1 percent of infections, West Nile virus can cause a severe illness affecting the central nervous system, such as inflammation of the brain or inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Those who do become ill experience symptoms such as a fever, headaches, muscle aches, rashes and fatigue. "We all need to take personal precautions to protect ourselves and loved ones from mosquito bites and thus reduce our risk of infection". "Mosquito populations are building and will continue to do so, especially with the persistence of hot-muggy weather". Wear long sleeves and trousers, and insect repellant.

Avoid being outdoors at peak mosquitoe hours - early evening to morning - and watch out for the biting bugs when you're in shady, wooded areas.

More information on the prevention of mosquito bites is available on the Division of Public Health's website and through the CDC.

Mosquito-proof your home. Make sure that doors and windows have tight fitting screens. "West Nile is endemic to the area, so that means we're going to see it every year", said David Zazra, communications manager for the agency.

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Belchik-Moser said previous year was down in terms of West Nile in Grant County.

Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from any source, including flower pots, buckets, bird baths and children's wading pools.

Consider the use of mosquito repellent, according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors.

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