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West Nile Risk Increasing: more WNV-positive mosquitoes in SCHR

Three new Nile Virus-positive mosquito pools were reported August 1 in Sun Country Health Region (SCHR) – two were in Weyburn and one was in Estevan.

Dr. Hudson is reminding people that the risk of West Nile is increasing with the identification of more West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes in SCHR. People need to take precautions to protect themselves against West Nile virus this long weekend and the rest of the summer.

Last week, there were four West Nile Virus-positive mosquito pools reported in Sun Country Health Region (SCHR). These were all from the Estevan traps.

The Culex tarsalis mosquitos have been in SCHR traps since the middle of June. The first WNV positive mosquito pool was reported the week of July 7, 2013.

With these positive tests, it's important to take precautions to reduce your risk of exposure to the West Nile virus, says Dr. Shauna Hudson, Sun Country Health Region's Medical Health Officer. The most important thing is to avoid all mosquito bites, but particularly at the times that the mosquitos carrying WNV are most active, which is at dusk. Remember to use an insect repellent with DEET.

“Everyone should start now to get in to the habit of taking personal precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes in the places where they live, work and play,” she says.

Dr Hudson recommends that members of the public follow the “FIVE Ds”:  

  1. Wear a good insect repellant with DEET. Apply according to directions.
  2. 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 the yard where adult mosquitoes can thrive - like tall grasses and weeds.
  3. Avoid going out during DUSK and DAWN. The mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are most active at dawn and dusk and also in the early evening. They are especially active for two hours after sunset.
  4. 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.
  5. Mosquito-proof your home. Make sure that DOORS and windows have tight fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.

For more information on WNV, go to the Saskatchewan Government website at http:///www.health.gov.sk.ca/west-nile-virus

Please also check out the following links for more information:

 1.  WNV Awareness and Prevention - http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/west-nile-virus-awareness-prevention 

  2.  Weekly West Nile Virus reports from the Ministry of Health -  http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/west-nile-culex-reports 

  3.  Current WNV Surveillance results - http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/wnv-surveillance-results  

  4.  Historic WNV Surveillance results - http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/wnv-surveillance-results-archive  

   5. Current WNV risk levels - http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/west-nile-risk

 

 

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