First Seasonal Human Case of West Nile Virus in Manitoba

First Seasonal Human Case of West Nile Virus in Manitoba

Mosquito
(THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Sean McCann)

WINNIPEG — The first human case of West Nile Virus of the year has been identified in Manitoba.

The province says the child, who is under 10, lives in the Southern Health region and was hospitalized after experiencing neurological symptoms. The child was likely exposed to the virus in early July.

Warm, dry conditions have been ideal for Culex tarsalis mosquitoes, a carrier of West Nile Virus. Culex tarsalis typically feeds between dusk and dawn and often goes unnoticed when biting.

The province says the risk for potential human exposure to WNV is high at present and will likely remain so for the next few weeks.

Manitobans can reduce their risk of mosquito bites and potential WNV exposure by:

• reducing the amount of time spent outdoors during peak mosquito hours (between dusk and dawn);
• using appropriate mosquito repellent;
• wearing light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing; and
• maintaining door and window screens so they fit tightly and are free of holes.

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