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Human case of West Nile virus identified in Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit region

SIMCOE, Oct. 15, 2019 – The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) has identified a human case of West Nile virus within the region. West Nile virus activity usually peaks in late summer, with cases being reported into the autumn months. It is expected that the virus will continue to pose a risk until temperatures are below freezing.

The HNHU is reminding the public to take precautions against the West Nile virus. Sarah Titmus, program manager of Infectious Disease states that, “this case serves as a reminder that we always need to take steps to prevent mosquito bites. This includes removing standing water from your property and applying mosquito repellant containing DEET when spending time outdoors.”

Other steps to protect yourself and your family from West Nile virus:

  • Avoiding being outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wearing light coloured clothing with long sleeves and pants.
  • Checking the screens on windows and doors to make sure they are in good repair and free of tears or holes
  • Change water in bird baths every second day
  • Make sure eavestroughs drain properly
  • Cover openings in rain barrels.

Most people infected with the virus will not have any symptoms, while others may experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache and body aches. Those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of experiencing more serious health effects such as meningitis, encephalitis and acute flaccid paralysis. If you experience any symptoms the HNHU recommends you seek medical attention.

For more information on West Nile virus, visit the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit website at www.hnhss.ca.