West Nile virus carrying mosquitos confirmed in Simcoe Muskoka

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Muskoka Post Staff

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is reminding residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites following confirmation that mosquitoes collected from a trap in Alliston, Town of New Tecumseth, tested positive for the West Nile virus (WNv).

This is the first lab confirmed evidence of WNv in Simcoe Muskoka this year.

The health unit recommends the following personal protection measures to help protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites:

· use an approved mosquito repellent, following the manufacturer’s instructions

· wear light-coloured clothing and cover up in areas where mosquitoes are present

· try to stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active (at dusk and dawn)

· remove standing water around your house or cottage.

Although most people will not become sick if bitten by an infected mosquito, WNv can cause severe illness in some people. Symptoms of WNv include fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, severe headache and a sudden sensitivity to light. In very rare cases, the virus may cause serious neurological illness. Those experiencing symptoms should seek medical advice.

The health unit will continue its surveillance for the virus in Alliston as well as throughout Simcoe Muskoka.

For more information visit the health unit website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org or call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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