The following is a message provided by Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health, Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit:
The Leeds, Grenville, and Lanark District Health Unit conducts surveillance of mosquitoes that may be carrying West Nile virus (WNV) or Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).
We have received a positive report for WNV from a mosquito trap in Perth. There may be positive mosquitos elsewhere in the region.
The presence of WNV in mosquitoes indicates that there is a risk of WNV transmission to humans. There are three responses to infection with WNV:
· Asymptomatic (about 80% of individuals);
· WNV fever (non-neurological) (about 20% of individuals) - a mild flu-like illness that usually resolves after several days, including fever, lymphadenopathy, gastrointestinal symptoms, and a transient maculopapular rash; and
· Neuro-invasive WNV (<1% of individuals) - encephalitis, meningitis, or acute flaccid paralysis.
The risk of exposure to WNV around the home can be reduced by eliminating mosquito breeding sites, including standing water in places such as bird baths, eaves troughs, flower pots and discarded tires; by wearing protective clothing; always using mosquito repellent when outdoors at dawn and dusk; and by preventing mosquito entry into the home.
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