The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is reminding residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites following the confirmation of a positive West Nile virus mosquito pool in the Alliston area.
“Finding positive mosquitoes is a reminder that we need to continue to take appropriate measures to protect ourselves against West Nile virus at this time of year,” said Marina Whelan, manager of health hazards for the health unit. “The best way to protect ourselves is to prevent mosquito bites.”
The health unit recommends the following personal protection measures:
- 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.