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Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus found at Picton check point

Mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus (WNv) have been found in the Picton area through regular surveillance conducted by Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH).

This is the second instance of direct evidence of WNv as earlier this month the virus was identified in mosquitoes in the Quinte West area.

WNv is an infection found in birds and carried by mosquitoes which feed on infected birds. It is then spread to humans and animals through bites by infected mosquitoes.

Early symptoms of WNv can include fever, muscle weakness, a stiff neck, confusion, severe headache, sudden sensitivity to light, tremors, numbness and vision loss.

HPEPH states most people have mild symptoms, or none at all. In severe cases, WNv can cause inflammation of the brain known as encephalitis. If individuals believe they are experiencing early symptoms of WNv, they are encouraged to contact their primary care provider.

Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. If residents need to be outside during this time, they are encouraged to wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks and a hat, and to use an insect repellant containing DEET or Icaridin. Since mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, removing any sources of standing water such as small pools and birdbaths will help reduce the mosquito population. Ensuring that windows and doors are screened will help keep mosquitos outside.

Filed Under: Local News

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