Local, state officials report slow start to West Nile virus season

4. Blood type. Your blood type affects how attracted mosquitoes are to you.

"With yet another positive result, it's clear that West Nile Virus is now widespread across Durham Region", says Ken Gorman, director of environmental health.

"Our messaging is although you're not hearing there's lots of cases (in Lambton), we do know there's West Nile out there and we're always messaging about the precautions people can take".

The majority of people (80%) who are infected with West Nile virus do not get sick.

The states with the most human West Nile virus cases this year are Arizona, Texas, California, Mississippi and Louisiana.

The virus is carried by mosquitoes, which means residents should eliminate breeding areas such as tires, gutters, catch basins and containers that can collect water.

"The messaging is for the entire county, especially since West Nile virus is endemic, meaning that it will be ongoing during the warm months each year in this area", Maurice said. Last week in Hamilton, 15 batches of mosquitoes from 10 traps tested positive.

As of the week ending August 19, there were 14 confirmed or probable human cases in the province.




While persons over age 60 are at the greatest risk for severe disease, serious illness can occur in people of any age, according to health officials. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection.

About one per cent of people infected with West Nile become seriously ill and experience flu-like symptoms.

When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long trousers and socks when outdoors.

The most effective way to prevent infection are limiting time outdoors during dusk and dawn, using repellent and protective clothing, getting rid of standing water and having tight-fitting screens on both windows and doors.

Install or fix screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside.

This is the first detection of the virus in Grant County this season and is the 11th such report in the state this year.

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