Another city in Canada has been added to the list of places affected by the West Nile virus, as the first human case of this disease was just confirmed in Hamilton, Ontario. At the moment, it looks like this illness becomes more and more widespread in this North American country, posing a threat especially to those living in areas with increased presence of mosquitoes.
An increased risk of West Nile virus
Following the first human infection with the West Nile virus, the Medical Officer of Health in Hamilton set the level of risk of contracting the disease at high. As the city officials say, a growing number of West Nile virus positive mosquitoes can be found in traps located in many places in the city.
Precautions have to be taken
According to Dr. Bart Harvey, a Public Health physician, the risk of contracting the West Nile virus exists locally. He said that it is important to take precautions against mosquitoes, as they are responsible for spreading this dangerous disease. He encouraged the inhabitants of Hamilton to act proactively by “applying insect repellent containing DEET or Icardin, covering up, and to also remove standing water on your property to prevent mosquito breeding.” Dr. Harvey also predicts that with the incoming heavy frosts, the number of mosquitoes will drop, lowering the risk of being infected with the West Nile virus.
As for the city officials, they continue the larvicide treatments on street catch basins in the city, as well as on surface waters on public land.
About the West Nile virus
In most cases, people infected with the West Nile virus do not show any symptoms, but those with a weakened immune system may develop the West Nile fever, which can lead to the inflammation of the brain or its lining. The symptoms usually appear between two and 14 days after being infected by the West Nile virus positive mosquito.