September 25, 2015
This will be the final update of the year as the week of September 13 - 19, 2015 marks the final surveillance period (for Culex tarsalis mosquito activity) for the 2015 season. Human surveillance data will be updated as information becomes available...more
West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito borne virus that can cause severe illness including encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and can sometimes result in long term complications and death. The risk of WNV varies from year to year based on precipitation, temperature, mosquito populations and other factors.
IT ONLY TAKES A SINGLE BITE FROM AN INFECTED MOSQUITO TO CONTRACT WNV.
In southern Manitoba, anyone can be exposed to an infected Culex tarsalis mosquito from June to September. The highest risk period occurs when the infected mosquito populations are greatest, typically from mid July through the end of August. Individuals spending time outdoors at work (ex: construction, farming etc), or recreationally (ex: gardening, golfing, at the cottage) are at greater risk of exposure.
Cooler temperatures and forested habitat combine to create a small WNV risk in northern Manitoba. However the WNV risk may be increased around pockets of agricultural land in the north during very warm years.
While the WNV risk to northern Manitobans is normally quite low, residents are strongly encouraged to take appropriate precautions when visiting southern Manitoba where the risk of WNV is often much greater.
While some people who get WNV show no symptoms and do not become ill, others may show mild symptoms such as headache, fever, fatigue and body aches.
Severe illness has occurred in all age groups. However, severe illness has occurred more commonly in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Recovery from these severe symptoms can take months or years.
THERE IS NO VACCINE, CURE OR SPECIFIC TREATMENT FOR WNV.
PREVENTION IS THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENCE AGAINST WEST NILE VIRUS.
As of May 2013, Health Canada has approved the following active ingredients to be safe and effective mosquito repellents:
Always follow the instructions on the label; application rates may vary by age.
For WNV health concerns, contact your doctor or call:
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