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West Nile Virus confirmed in Algoma

It's now official. The Algoma Health Unit has today confirmed the arrival of West Nile Virus.

It's now official.

The Algoma Health Unit has today confirmed the arrival of West Nile Virus.

Here's the full text of the health unit's announcement:

************************************************************************** UPDATE ON WEST NILE VIRUS

The crow reported as presumptive positive for WNV, has, as expected, been confirmed as positive.

The Algoma Health Unit continues to submit dead crows on a regular basis from the Algoma District and no other crow to date has been positive for WNV.

There have been no human cases identified in Canada to date.

The West Nile Virus is spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Mosquitoes become infected by biting an infected bird. The virus is not spread by person-to-person contact.

It cannot be spread directly from bird to human.

The risk of becoming seriously ill as a result of an infection with West Nile Virus is low and most people who become infected experience no symptoms or have very mild illness, with fever, headache, muscle weakness or body aches.

Those at increased risk of severe illness are individuals over 50 years of age and those with weakened immune systems.

Symptoms of West Nile Virus encephalitis (the rare, serious form of the disease) include severe headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, and altered level of consciousness and mental state.

The main preventive measure is to minimize exposure to mosquitoes.

Residents can reduce the risk of exposure to mosquitoes by:

· Removing any standing water on their property · Maintaining swimming pools · Turning over wading pools when not in use · Ensuring eavestroughs are draining properly · Replacing damaged screening on windows and doors · Wearing light colored clothing when going outside · Wearing long sleeved shirts and pants between dusk and dawn (the time that mosquitoes tend to feed) · Consider using a personal insect repellent following the manufacturer's label instructions carefully, especially as it relates to children

The Algoma Health Unit will continue to monitor the West Nile Virus in our District.

*************************************************************************** Quarantine crow-eating politicians!

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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