West Nile virus in the area

SD&G – The regional health unit is cautioning people to cover up and wear insect repellent after mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus were found in the area.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit said Thursday there are no human cases to date but an active monitoring problem of the insects in the SD&G, Prescott and Russell has detected the virus.

Traditionally, health unit officials do not disclose where the mosquito pool tested positive.

“This finding shows that West Nile virus remains a concern in our area,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Roumeliotis said.

While the risk is low to many people there are people that can have a serious illness after being bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus.

Roughly 70-80 per cent of people bitten by an infected mosquito usually never exhibit symptoms but some may have fever, headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea or a rash, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fatigue and weakness associated with the virus can last weeks or months.

In addition to bug repellents, you should also wearing light-coloured clothing, avoid times around dawn and dusk outdoors when mosquitoes are usually looking for a meal, and remove standing water on your property.

If you want more information on WNV you’re asked to call the health unit at 613-933-1375 or go to their website.

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