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Published: Fri, September 01, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

Human cases of West Nile positively identified in Simcoe Muskoka

Human cases of West Nile positively identified in Simcoe Muskoka

Mark Pfister, the executive director of the health department said in a statement that the current season is the time when they get more cases of the West Nile virus and also added that irrespective of the water remaining cold, the mosquitoes will be remaining active till the first hard frost.

Since 2002, there have been 60 confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Lake County, as well as two confirmed deaths.

While many people who become infected don't develop symptoms, others become sick in 3-15 days after exposure. All four people have been hospitalized with neurologic disease.

The recommendations for reducing the likelihood of contracting a California serogroup virus are much the same as avoiding West Nile virus.

The more serious form of the illness invades the nervous system and can lead to paralysis and death. Less than one percent of people infected develop a potentially fatal swelling of the brain, known as encephalitis. "We urge everyone to take simple steps to eliminate mosquito breeding sources around their homes", including keeping your home free of standing water.

Health officials said residents should do not forget to wear insect repellent and clothing covering the entire body to help prevent bites.

- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long trousers and socks when outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk to reduce the amount of exposed skin, as weather permits. According to the state, one in five persons who contracted West Nile Virus will have mild illness and fever, but one in 150 will become severely ill.

Control spray can help control the bugs on a large scale, but small things can also be done to keep mosquitos at bay. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors. Fix or replace screens with tears or holes. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flower pots, old vehicle tires, rain gutters and pet bowls.

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