Medicine

West Nile virus found in Stirling area

West Nile virus found in Stirling area

Testing for infected mosquitoes will continue in Clark County.

There have been five reported human West Nile virus cases in the province, two of which were travel related.

Several local health departments have issued warnings urging residents to stay safe, especially after deaths were confirmed in Iowa, Texas and North Carolina.

Health departments have also encouraged residents to remove items from the outside of their home that contain water - such as buckets or pet dishes - because it can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

In June, Cascade County Commissioners approved increasing the Mosquito Control Fund by $45,000 for additional chemicals needed to treat mosquitoes in our area after heavy rains and flooding.

Public health officials have detected West Nile Virus in a pool of mosquitoes in Stirling-Rawdon. But this is the first positive sample for 2018.

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He added that while most people do not become ill if they are bitten by a mosquito carrying West Nile, older people are more at risk.

Brenda Miller is the manager of health protection and investigation with Region of Waterloo Public Health and said the region monitors 16 different sites for West Nile virus in recreational and residential areas.

"Early symptoms can include fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, severe headache, sudden sensitivity to light, tremors, numbness, or vision loss".

DUSK and DAWN-This is when mosquitoes are most active. People who develop any of these symptoms should see their healthcare provider immediately. Try to avoid outdoor activities during these times.

He recommends using bug sprays with Deet, but there are other options like lemon eucalyptus oil that combat West Nile mosquitoes.