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Fight the Bite of Mosquitoes to Protect Yourself From Illness

Fight the bite of mosquitoes! While some people consider mosquitoes a harmless part of summer, the bite of an infected mosquito can potentially lead to a variety of illnesses, including West Nile Virus. Reduce your risk of illness by removing mosquito-breeding areas on your property and protecting yourself from mosquitoes when outside. It's best to cover up and clean up!

What is West Nile Virus?

West Nile is a virus that arrived in Canada in 2001. West Nile Virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms usually develop two to 14 days after receiving a bite from an infected mosquito. Approximately 80 per cent of people infected with West Nile Virus do not show any symptoms. Of the 20 per cent of people who do show symptoms, most experience mild illness with symptoms such as: fever, headache, body ache, fatigue, skin rash, and occasionally vomiting and nausea. Less than one per cent of people infected with West Nile Virus experience severe illness involving the central nervous system.

Can Infected Mosquitoes Spread Other Illnesses?

Around the world, mosquitoes carry and spread a variety of serious illnesses. Due to the harsher Canadian climate, many of the mosquito species that carry the deadlier diseases have not been detected in Canada. West Nile Virus remains the most common mosquito-borne disease reported in the country. In summer 2016, the first human case of mosquito-borne Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEEV) was confirmed. The infected person was a resident of Ontario and has fully recovered. EEEV has been circulating in Ontario for several decades, with cases confirmed in horses for the past several years. Human cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus remain rare.

Additional Resources:

West Nile Virus is in the Air Brochure - HKPR District Health Unit

Video - Take the Bite Out of West Nile virus - HKPR District Health Unit

Public Health Ontario

Public Health Agency of Canada

Government of Ontario

Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre

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