The risk of West Nile virus (WNV) has recently increased and residents are asked to take the appropriate safety precautions.
The city of Hamilton recently confirmed the first local human case of West Nile virus this season, prompting the Medical Officer of Health to move the WNV risk from moderate to high.
Symptoms of West Nile virus may appear two to 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito, and can include fever, headache, tiredness, body aches, occasional skin rashes, and swollen lymph glands.
To avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes, residents are advised to wear light-coloured clothing (including long sleeves and pants), use insect repellents containing DEET or Icaridin, and consider staying indoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
The City has also received notice of a horse testing positive for Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus, the first report of a horse testing positive for the virus in Hamilton this year.
To date, there have been no reports of human illness caused by EEE virus in Hamilton.
“It is important to take precautions to avoid illnesses spread by insects including West Nile Virus, Lyme disease, and Eastern equine encephpalitis,” says Dr. Bart Harvey, Associate Medical Officer of Health, Hamilton Public Health.
“The risk of these infections will drop once there is a heavy frost that reduces the number of mosquitoes.”