The death of an Interlake-area man in his 80s is the province’s first West Nile virus-related death since 2008.
Manitoba Health reported the incident on Friday, saying the man had West Nile virus neurological syndrome, a rare but more serious condition caused by the virus.
It’s believed the man, who lived in the Interlake-Eastern Health Region, was exposed to the virus during the first half of August.
In late August, the province reported that a Winnipeg-area woman in her 40s had also contracted West Nile and suffered from mild symptoms.
Human cases of West Nile virus were first reported in Manitoba in 2003. This is the eighth death since the province began gathering information on the virus.
The most recent provincial surveillance report showed a significant decrease in the number of Culex tarsalis mosquitoes, which carry the West Nile virus. Although the risk for ongoing human exposures to WNV is minimal at this time of year, it is not zero. With shorter days and cooler temperatures mosquitoes are more likely to bite late in the afternoon and early in the evening. There will continue to be a risk of exposure to WNV until the weather becomes colder or until the first hard frost.