MI health department says one dead from West Nile

A mosquito on a person's skin

A mosquito on a person's skin

Health officials have documented the first confirmed cases of West Nile virus to reach B.C. this year, though there has been no apparent human impact so far.

MI has seen outbreaks of West Nile virus every summer since 2002. "To date, there have no human cases reported, no positive mosquito pools identified, and no positives identified by Canadian Blood Services through their screening program".

IH and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control say the risk of infection from handling birds is very low. If you need to move a dead bird, precautions should be taken. "It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause a severe illness, so take extra care during peak mosquito-biting hours, which are dusk and dawn for the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus".

There have been 136 human cases of West Nile virus, including three fatalities, that have been diagnosed in CT residents since 2000.

"The few cases of West Nile virus diagnosed in the United Kingdom have been due to insect bites overseas and the risk of contracting the infection in this country is low".

The risk of getting West Nile virus is highest in the warmer months of the summer, usually from the end of July through August. Symptoms of the disease include fever, rash and headache but a rare, more serious side effect such as meningitis is possible as well.

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The hot and muggy weather is creating optimal breeding conditions for mosquitoes.

Prevent mosquito breeding around your home and remove standing water; change water in bird baths twice a week; unclog rain gutters; install a pump in ornamental ponds or stock them with fish.

Use mosquito repellent on exposed skin.

Make sure your doors and windows have tightly fitting screens.

-Repel: Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved insect repellents when outdoors, such as those containing the active ingredient DEET.

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