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West Nile Virus

September 21, 2022

Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus Awareness

September has remained warm and those pesky mosquitoes are still active. You can still enjoy the outdoors by taking a few steps  to protect yourself from mosquito bites and the viruses they spread.  Mosquito-borne viruses such as West Nile virus are spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.  For most people, the risk of illness is low but for some (elderly or immune-compromised) the risk of disease can be severe. The Health Unit recommends that you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites.

The following measures can help reduce the risk of West Nile Virus:

  • Apply insect repellents sparingly to exposed skin. Effective repellents contain DEET or Icaridin. Be sure to follow directions and use age appropriate concentrations. DO NOT USE personal insect repellents on children under two years of age.
  • Wear light coloured clothing, long pants and long sleeves, as well as shoes and socks during peak mosquito times to prevent mosquito bites.
  • Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn, as mosquitos are most active at that time.
  • Reduce mosquito breeding grounds around your home by eliminating standing water including cleaning your eaves troughs, emptying bird baths and cleaning up items that collect water i.e., toys, old tires etc.
  • Use a fine mesh netting on the top of rain barrels
  • Use netting on strollers to protect small babies from insect bites.
  • Repair or replace damaged screens in, windows, doors and vents to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
  • Consult your health care provider if you are feeling unwell after being bitten by mosquitoes.

More information regarding this disease and its symptoms can be found on our Insect Bites and Diseases section of our website, or call 1-800-660-5853. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter @LGLHealthUnit.


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