Published: Thu, August 24, 2017
Health Care | By Gwendolyn Kim

McHenry urges residents to actively combat West Nile virus

McHenry urges residents to actively combat West Nile virus

Monday, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported two new West Nile virus deaths in Mississippi residents for 2017.

A case of West Nile virus has been found in Fayette County.

No known infection in humans has been detected in Cascade County so far this year, but residents are still encouraged to take steps to protect themselves.

Most people infected with West Nile virus either show no symptoms or relatively mild symptoms. Symptoms may start between three and 15 days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito.

Since the virus first arrived in Canada back in 2001, the province has been surveilling mosquito populations through a weekly trapping system. Last month, a horse tested positive for EEE in Brooks County also. West Nile is not contagious from person-to-person through casual contact.

The Brock University team used 12 years of this research, and combined it with data on human cases to predict the next wave of infections. In 2014, there were no cases, and in 2013, there was one non-fatal human case. The people most at risk for the disease are those 50 and older.

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County health offficials are still treating standing water in public areas with environmentally safe larvicide and trapping mosquitos for testing, according to the announcement.

According to Toronto Public Health, 31 mosquito traps tested positive in the city since August 16.

To prevent mosquitoes from breeding in standing water - in ponds, bird baths, animal watering troughs, stock tanks, neglected swimming pools and rain barrels - use a product that contains BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) such as Mosquito Dunks.

Using insect repellent when outdoors; a repellent with DEET or lcaridin offers the most effective protection.

Other tips include making sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens, repairing or replacing screens that are torn, and keeping doors and windows shut, especially at night.

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