The risk of getting the West Nile Virus is increasing in southeastern Saskatchewan, according to the provincial health authority.
The culex tarsalis mosquito that carries the West Nile Virus were caught in traps set up in the Estevan area on July 10th, with the provincial mosquito surveillance program identifying them as infected.
“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,” said Dr. Lanre Medu, Medical Health Officer with the Saskatchewan Health Authority in a news release. “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.”
There’s no reported human cases in Saskatchewan nor in Manitoba.
The risk of exposure in Manitoba is moderate “but likely to increase, particularly as we proceed through the historical high risk period for human exposures in July and August.” said Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living in a separate news release.
Residents are advised to take precautions to reduce infection from West Nile virus throughout the rest of the summer.
–Wear an effective insect repellant containing DEET. Repellents with Icaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are also effective. Apply according to directions.
–DRAIN standing water. Mosquitoes require water to complete their life cycle. Eliminate or reduce all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs like wading pools, wheelbarrows, containers, rain downspouts and gutters, pet dishes and birdbaths, etc. Reduce places in your yard where adult mosquitoes can thrive like tall grasses and weeds.
–Reduce the amount of time spent outdoors between DUSK and DAWN. The mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are most active at dawn and dusk and in the early evening. They are especially active for two hours after sunset.
–DRESS appropriately. Wear long sleeves and long pants (wear light-weight clothing to minimize the potential for heat-induced illnesses). Mosquitoes may be more attracted to individuals wearing perfumes and colognes.
–Mosquito-proof your home. Make sure that DOORS and windows have tight fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.