News Release: First Human Case of West Nile Virus Confirmed
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For Immediate Release
Monday, September 16, 2019 | Windsor, ON
A Windsor-Essex County (WEC) resident has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This marks the first clinically diagnosed and lab-confirmed human case for 2019 in our region and the fourth in Ontario.
Most people with WNV never develop symptoms and will not know that they have the virus. Only about 20% of people develop symptoms of West Nile fever with less than 1% developing severe neuro-invasive disease. The mosquito species capable of spreading WNV have been identified throughout WEC through the health unit’s surveillance program. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds. This positive human case is a reminder for WEC residents to continue to protect themselves from exposure.
“Even though it is getting cooler in the evenings, it is still important for everyone to eliminate any standing water around their home/property and take personal protective measures to avoid mosquito bites during the fall months” said Dr. Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health, Windsor - Essex County Health Unit. Here are some simple tips to help protect individuals from mosquito bites:
- Use insect repellent that contains DEET, Icaridin or other approved ingredients on clothing as well as exposed skin. 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 WNV activity for the remainder of the season.
For more information, please visit our WNV page.
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
519-258-2146 ext. 6397 (NEWS)