A teenager is in critical condition and 67 others have been hospitalized with West Nile fever in what health officials said is the largest number of cases in recent years. Infected mosquitoes spread the virus to animals and people by biting them.
Even though it is called West Nile, as its symptoms were fist categorised and isolated in Uganda, the virus reportedly afflicts people and livestock in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America.
The virus was detected in two dead ravens that were found in the Kimberley area as part of routine surveillance, Interior Health revealed Wednesday.
Mosquitoes can also transmit West Nile virus to horses and occasionally to other animals.
So far, no human cases have been reported, no positive mosquito pools have been identified, and Canadian Blood Services has seen no positives through its screening program.
Although the risk of infection from handling birds is very low, the health authority warns that wild birds should not be handled using bare hands.More news: This Purple Light is Not an Aurora. Let’s Call It STEVE!
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The Saginaw County Mosquito Abatement Commission said the mosquito-borne virus found in crows and blue jays has doubled since the beginning of August. Horse owners are advised to contact their veterinarians for information about equine vaccines for West Nile virus.
Prevent mosquitos breeding near your home.
Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn. Repellents containing DEET are safe for those over six months of age when used according to the directions on the label.
Use mosquito repellent on exposed skin. Also consider wearing shoes and socks, long trousers, and long-sleeved shirts.
Install screens on windows. Anything that can hold water can be a mosquito breeding area.