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Box 2003
Weyburn, Saskatchewan
S4H 2Z9
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Risk of West Nile Virus increasing with warmer weather

Protect Yourself!

Risk of West Nile Increasing with Warmer Weather

Use Precautions to Prevent West Nile Virus Infection

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

“Everyone should be getting in to the habit of taking personal precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes in the places where they live, work, and play,” Dr. Hudson advises.

People enjoying the outdoors in our parks, recreational venues, campgrounds, and sporting events need to take precautions and avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. Farmers and other people who are working outside, especially in the evening, need to be prepared and use an insect repellent with DEET.

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 in SCHR and the numbers of infected mosquito pools have continued to increase.

With the mosquitoes being increasingly infected, 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 always carry and use an insect repellent with DEET.”

The Saskatchewan government's risk map has moved the WNV risk for SCHR to “moderate”. Go to the map to see what the risk is - http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/west-nile-risk.

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, call your local Public Health Inspector or 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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