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Protecting yourself against West Nile virus

provided by Eastern Ontario Health Unit

May 18, 2022

Spring is here and with it the start of mosquito season. Infected mosquitoes can carry the West Nile virus (WNV) which can transmit the neurological disease to humans through their bites. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is asking community members to take steps to protect themselves against mosquito-borne diseases, such as WNV.

“Over the past few years, tests have revealed the presence of WNV among certain mosquito populations in our region, which has caused cases of infection in humans,” recalls Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the EOHU. “As West Nile virus infections can be serious, it is important to take steps to protect yourself and those around you. »

When you spend time outdoors, especially in mosquito-infested areas, you are at greater risk of being bitten and infected with WNV. Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks to prevent mosquito bites and, if possible, wear hats or clothing with mosquito nets. Insect repellents, especially those containing DEET or icaridin, also prevent insects from biting you. If you sleep outside, settle where mosquito nets can protect you.

Other ways to prevent the spread of WNV include controlling mosquito populations. To prevent mosquitoes from breeding around you, you can:

  • Empty containers filled with standing water outdoors, such as children’s toys, flower pots and wading pools.
  • Replace the water in birdbaths or your pet’s bowl at least twice a week.
  • Clean dead leaves and other debris from gutters to prevent water from accumulating.

To learn more about WNV and preventing the virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses, go to BSEO.ca.

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