The West Nile virus is an asymptomatic infection transmitted by mosquitoes while stinging humans. For the first time, at the beginning of July there have been mosquito tests from Windsor-Essex that showed they are positive for the West Nile Virus.
According to the County Health Unit, no human cases have been found with the virus.
Most of the times people infected with the virus have no symptoms, only one in five infected people have a fever and less that 1% of the infected cases develop neurologic illness which can be fatal. Unfortunately, there is no medication to prevent and treat the infection.
But there are a few steps that you can follow if you are a resident of that area. First of all you’re supposed to stay away from standing water and use a few items such as: insect repellent which contains DEET (N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide), protect your indoors with window screens that don’t have gaps or holes in them, try not to stay outdoors at dusk and dawn, wear light clothes and long sleeved shirts and pants when you go outside.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has launched a campaign in order to raise awareness to the locals and teach them ways of protecting themselves from getting infected with the virus. The mosquitoes that carry the virus are more active at dusk and dawn, that’s why people are supposed to wear long sleeved shirts and pants or avoid getting out at that time. Mosquitoes are also drawn to warm weather and lots of places with rain.
Last year there have been two confirmed cases of the West Nile Virus, below the average, but the health unit hopes that by keeping the people well informed, they will keep a low number this year as well.
Dr. Wajid Ahmed, who works with the health unit, advised the locals to enjoy the outdoors as long as they protect themselves from mosquitoes.