West Nile virus confirmed in Alliston mosquitoes
The West Nile virus originated in Africa but has been spread northward by migratory birds and mosquitoes. (AFP / LUIS ROBAYO)
ALLISTON, ONT -- Mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus in Simcoe County for the first time this year.
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit says the insects were trapped in Alliston and it was confirmed in a lab that the virus was present.
The health unit is now warning residents across the region to guard themselves against mosquito bites by doing simple things such as:
- use of an approved mosquito repellent
- wear light-coloured clothing and cover-up skin
- stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active (at dusk and dawn)
- remove standing water around your house or cottage.
Officials say that most people are not likely to get sick if bitten by an infected mosquito. However, West Nile virus can cause serve illness in some. Common symptoms include fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, severe headache and a sudden sensitivity to light.
If you experience any of these, you should connect with a health care professional.