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West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a disease of birds that is occasionally spread to humans through mosquitos. One hundred and twenty-six (126) cases, including one fatality, were reported in Sun Country Health Region in 2007.

To help Saskatchewan residents better understand their level of risk for contracting West Nile Virus, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health is introducing a new visual tool, called a risk map.

The colour-coded risk map allows residents to see their risk of contracting WNV by health region. The map is based on the number of WNV-infected mosquitoes caught in surveillance traps around the province. It will be updated every Tuesday until the end of the risk season from the end of June to September. The map can be found here http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/west-nile-risk.

The Medical Health Officer for Sun Country Health Region advises that taking some simple steps to get into the habit of preventing mosquito bites now, and reducing mosquito habitat, will help reduce your risk and your family's risk later in the summer when more Culex tarsalis mosquitos and more infected mosquitos are around.

Dr. Shauna Hudson says "The most important thing is to avoid all mosquito bites, but particularly at the times that the mosquitos carrying WNV are most active, at dusk and dawn."

"People should remember to use an insect repellent with DEET and wear protective light-coloured clothing at dusk and dawn. They should reduce the places that mosquitos lay eggs, by reducing the standing water in the places where they work and play. They should also mosquito-proof their home."

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

West Nile Virus Brochure
Be aware. Be prepared. Mosquito season and the West Nile Virus.

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