Ontario's first probable human case of West Nile virus

Dr. Sheela Basrur, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and Dr. Allen Heimann, Medical Officer of Health for Windsor-Essex County confirmed Ontario's first probable human case of West Nile virus in the Windsor-Essex area.

Dr. Heimann has confirmed that a 45 year-old female Windsor resident has shown positive results for West Nile virus. She was hospitalized on August 2 and remains in hospital in stable but guarded condition.

"Although today's finding is of concern, Ontario has experience in dealing with West Nile virus and has taken steps to reduce the risk. Individuals should play their part by avoiding mosquito bites wherever possible," said Dr. Basrur.

The province continues to closely monitor mosquito activity and local health units are implementing mosquito control programs throughout the province. As of August 5th, Ontario has 111 birds testing positive for West Nile Virus and a total of 6 mosquito pools testing positive for West Nile virus.

In Windsor-Essex, six birds have tested positive for West Nile virus while no positive West Nile virus mosquito pools have been found to date in the Windsor-Essex area.

"This first human probable case for this year should remind all residents that mosquito season is not over and to continue to use protective measures to avoid mosquito bites, " said Dr. Heimann.

Dr. Basrur reminds Ontarians to avoid outdoor activities from dusk through dawn, wear protective clothing and use insect repellents that contain DEET.

For more information on how to protect yourself, the public are reminded to visit www.HealthyOntario.com. or contact their local public health unit. For the Windsor-Essex area, please contact the public health unit at (519) 258-2146, ext. 1444.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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