MUSKOKA – Adult mosquitoes trapped in Huntsville and Gravenhurst by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit have tested positive for West Nile virus.
The test results came back earlier this week and prompted health officials to renew their call for people to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
“These results come well in advance of our first positive mosquito pools last year,” said Brenda Armstrong, manager of the health hazards program. “Finding positive mosquitoes is a reminder that the public needs to continue to take appropriate measures to protect themselves from West Nile virus.”
The health unit recommends the following personal protection measures:
Use an approved mosquito repellent, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Wear light-coloured clothing and cover up in areas where mosquitoes are present.
Try to stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active (dusk to dawn).
Remove standing water around your house or cottage.
Most people will not become sick if bitten by an infected mosquito, but the virus can cause severe illness in some people. Precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes are an important safeguard against the virus.
Symptoms of the virus include fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, severe headache and a sudden sensitivity to light. In very rare cases, the virus may cause serious neurological illness. Those experiencing symptoms should seek medical advice.
The health unit will continue its surveillance for the virus in the two municipalities and throughout Simcoe Muskoka.
For more information visit www.simcoemuskokahealth.org or call Your Health Connection, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.