The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is confirming the year’s first human case of West Nile virus in the region. To date, there have been no pools of mosquitoes in the EOHU territory that have tested positive for the disease, however the positive human case indicates that it is present in the local mosquito population.
“This first human case of the year shows that West Nile virus remains a concern in our area throughout the fall,” says Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the EOHU. “Residents should be aware and take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families.”
West Nile virus is spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. For most people, the risk of illness from West Nile virus is low. However, it can cause serious illness in others.
Residents can take precautions against mosquitoes and therefore against the virus by taking the following steps:
- Use federally registered personal insect repellents, such as those containing DEET or icaridin. Use a light coating on exposed skin. Follow label instructions for proper application.
- Wear light-coloured clothing, long sleeves, pants and socks when outside.
- Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn, as mosquitoes are the most active at that time.
- Ensure that all containers in or around the yard like tires, pool covers, saucers for flowerpots, wading pools and children’s toys are regularly emptied of standing water.
- Ensure that screens, windows and doors are fully sealed to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house.
For more information, visit the EOHU’s website at www.eohu.ca and click on the My Environment section, or call 613-933-1375 or 1 800 267-7120. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.