A resident of Windsor-Essex is the region's first case of West Nile virus this year, according to a news release from the health unit Monday.
West Nile virus was discovered in two mosquito pools in the region on July 27 after routine testing. Most people bit by infected mosquitoe never develop symptoms and are unaware they have the virus, though some 20 per cent do develop symptoms of West Nile fever and less than 1 per cent develop a severe neuro-invasive disease, the news release notes.
West Nile can infect anyone, though people over the age of 50 are at a higher risk for severe disease.
"This positive human case is a reminder for residents to continue to protect themselves from exposure while enjoying the outdoors. It is also important to remove any standing water around homes and businesses," the health unit's medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said in a news release.
To protect against mosquito bites, the health unit advises that residents:
- Use insect repellents that have DEET, Icaridin or other approved ingredients on clothing as well as exposed skin.
- Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts, long pants and a hat outside.
- Limit the time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Remove any standing water in places such as bird baths, buckets, old tires, pet water dishes and gutters.
- Have tightly secured door and window screens that are free of holes.
The health unit said it continues to work with each municipality during the summer to monitor and control West Nile in the community.