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Thursday August 30th, 2012

Posted at 12:12pm

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The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit today reported that five new possible human cases of West Nile virus have been identified in the region in the past week, bringing the investigated number of cases to 15.

The age range for the 15 cases is from 25 to 74 years of age, with nine being female and six being male.

The Health Unit says that of the 15 human cases that have been investigated five cases have been confirmed and ten cases are pending. Victims in five of these cases have been hospitalized with three cases remaining in the hospital.

This summer 25 positive mosquito test pools have been found in Windsor, Amherstburg, Essex, and Kingsville.

This wide distribution of positive pools indicates that the virus is prevalent throughout Windsor-Essex.

Dr. G. Allen Heimann, Medical Officer of Health indicates that, “These cases emphasize the need to take precautions against the mosquitoes which transmit the virus. With the continued hot summer weather coupled with recent rains, it is likely that mosquito populations will continue to increase in Windsor-Essex and thereby increase the risk of the virus.”

The Health Unit encourages residents are encouraged to:

  • Use insect repellents that contain DEET or other approved ingredients when going outdoors. Read and follow the manufacturers’ directions for safe use.
  • Make sure that door and window screens fit securely and are free of holes.
  • Limit the time you spend outdoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a hat when outdoors. Light-coloured clothing is best as mosquitoes tend to be attracted to dark colours.
  • Cut back weeds and tall grass which provide a resting place for mosquitoes.

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