The Saskatchewan Health Authority cautioned the residents in the southeast of the region that mosquitoes carrying Nile virus made an appearance near Estevan.
“The provincial mosquito surveillance program identified the infected mosquitoes in traps collected on July 10 in the Estevan area. This positive pool is occurring a few weeks earlier than 2016 but about the same time as 2017. It is expected that there may be an increase in the number of pools, increases in infection rates and possible human infections,” said the Saskatchewan Health Authority in an official statement.
Recommendations to avoid Nile virus infection
The health authorities in Saskatchewan recommend residents within the affected areas to use insect repellant containing DEET, Icaridin, and oil of lemon eucalyptus.
As mosquitoes use water to lay eggs and reproduce, health officials recommend draining or reducing standing water amounts, such as in pools, containers, rain downspouts, and so on.
Also, people residing in the affected regions must avoid spending time outdoors between dusk and dawn because mosquitoes that carry Nilve virus are particularly active two hours after sunset and early in the morning. However, if you have to spend some time outside between dusk and dawn, you should wear long sleeves and long pants to minimize exposure as much as possible.
“All people in the region need to prevent infections by getting rid of mosquito-friendly places in their yards and taking personal precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes in the places where they live, work and play. People who work outside, especially at dusk and dawn and those who are camping over the next few weeks are at higher risk of being bitten by mosquitoes and should pay particular attention to preventing these bites,” explained Dr. Lanre Medu, from the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
Nile virus infection
Commonly, 75% of those who contract Nile virus present no symptoms. However, 20% of those who get the disease develop fever, rashes, nausea, vomiting, and headaches.
On the other hand, some people, especially young children, older adults, and people with impaired immune systems, might develop encephalitis and meningitis. The risk of death for this group with affected nervous systems is of about 10%.