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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 11, 2017 | 1:30 p.m. | Windsor and Essex County

Within the last week, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has received two separate reports of death attributed to the West Nile virus (WNV). This is a notice to the public that WNV continues to be a risk until the area experiences temperatures below freezing. Most people with WNV never develop symptoms and will not know that they have the virus. Approximately 25% of the people develop West Nile fever. A small number of people (less than 1%) develop severe neuro-invasive disease. No deaths related to the WNV have been reported since 2012.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit would like to remind residents to continue to protect themselves, as certain types of mosquitoes spread WNV, a potentially serious infection to humans.

Area residents should eliminate any standing water around their home/property and take personal protective measures to avoid mosquito bites.

Individuals can protect themselves from mosquito bites in several ways.

  • Use insect repellents that contain DEET, Icaridin or other approved ingredients on clothing as well as exposed skins. Always read and follow label directions.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a hat when outdoors. Light-coloured clothing is best as mosquitoes tend to be attracted to dark colours.
  • Limit the time you spend outdoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active. 
  • Make sure that door and window screens fit securely and are free of holes.

The Health Unit, along with each municipality, will continue to monitor for West Nile Virus activity for the remainder of the season. So far this year, 29 mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) throughout the area and 11 cases of WNV have been reported to health unit.

For more information on West Nile Virus, please visit our WNV page.

Media Contact

Communications Department
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
519-258-2146 ext. 6397 (news)
news@wechu.org