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Tuesday August 20th, 2013

Posted at 11:43am

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The Windsor-Essex County Health unit is reporting this morning the region’s first human case of West Nile virus this year.

The Health Unit says a resident of Windsor-Essex in their 50s has tested positive for the virus. They say exposure to West Nile was possibly local, but it may have been during travel in Ontario.

“It’s clear that West Nile virus is circulating in our community,” said Dr. Heimann.  “It’s important that local residents take personal protective measures to avoid mosquito bites and prevent infection.”

The Health Unit continues to monitor mosquitoes for West Nile virus. To date, 5 collections of mosquitoes in Windsor-Essex County have tested positive for West Nile virus.

Individuals can protect themselves from mosquito bites in several ways:

  • 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.

The Health Unit and each municipality will continue to monitor for West Nile virus activity. The 2013 larviciding program will continue throughout the summer season, along with the investigation of standing water complaints and the distribution of educational materials.

For more information on West Nile virus, you can visit http://www.wechealthunit.org/diseases-conditions/west-nile-virus.

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