Mosquitoes in the Dresden area have tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to a release from the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit.
West Nile Virus is mainly transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito, and the health unit says most people with the virus have no symptoms at all, or have flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches and fatigue.
People with a more severe reaction to the illness can have symptoms that include a stiff neck, nausea, difficulty swallowing, vomiting and lack of co-ordination or paralysis. Anyone with a sudden onset of these severe symptoms should get medical attention right away.
Health unit officials say the chances of getting West Nile Virus from an infected mosquito are low. The risk of severe illness, however, increases with age and for people with compromised immune systems.
- To protect yourself and your family, the health unit suggests these measures:
- Wear protective, light-coloured clothing including long sleeve shirts, long pants and socks.
- Use insect repellent containing DEET and follow the label directions
- Stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active (dusk to dawn)
- Ensure that all doors and window screens are tight and free of any holes
Another important measure is to get rid of any standing water on your property where mosquitoes like to breed.
More information on West Nile Virus is available by calling the Public Health Unit at 519-352-7270 or by visiting the Public Health Agency of Canada website.