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Mosquitoes in Belleville area found to be carrying West Nile Virus

MOSQUITOHastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) has found mosquitoes in the Belleville area carrying West Nile Virus – the first direct evidence of West Nile activity in the area this summer.

HPEPH conducts a mosquito surveillance program using carbon dioxide baited light traps at 17 locations throughout Hastings and Prince Edward counties. The mosquitoes are shipped to a laboratory where they are tested for West Nile virus.

West Nile virus is a viral infection found in birds and carried by mosquitoes which feed on infected birds. West Nile virus is spread to humans and animals through bites by infected mosquitoes.

The majority of infected individuals have mild or no symptoms. Early symptoms can include fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, severe headache, sudden sensitivity to light, tremors, numbness, or vision loss.

The elderly and those with certain chronic medical problems, including problems with their immune systems, are more susceptible. In severe cases, West Nile virus can cause an inflammation of the brain known as encephalitis. No specific treatment or vaccination is available for West Nile virus.

Filed Under: Local News

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