Cypress Health Region highlights precautions should still be taken for West Nile Virus
The Cypress Health Region is reporting a recent Ministry of Health’s Population Health Branch report has confirmed that mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus were located in the Southwest among collections taken during the week of Sept. 1 to 7.
The Ministry of Health’s Population Health Branch that tests mosquitoes for West Nile Virus has confirmed that collections taken during the week of Sept. 1 to 7 included mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus from samples tested within the Cypress Health Region.
Much as we are steadily moving into cooler evenings and mornings where the West Nile Virus- carrying mosquitoes are less active, Dr. David Torr, Consulting Medical Health Officer for the Cypress Health Region, is still encouraging the public to continue to minimize the risks of contracting the West Nile Virus.
“Although it is rather late in the year to see positive pool results, the fact that numbers of the trapped Culex Tarsalis are being confirmed as positive for carrying the West Nile Virus is a lesson for us to stay vigilent,” stated Dr. Torr. “The risk for contracting the disease might be lower, but until the risk becomes zero there is still a chance for humans to be infected from mosquito bites.”
Dr. Torr reminded the public to take proactive steps in reducing the risk of being bitten by a mosquito that is carrying the West Nile Virus. They include wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors, especially during the dawn and dusk hours when the Culex tarsalis mosquito that carries the WNV is most active, applying insect repellent, eliminating standing water where mosquitoes may be drawn to in large numbers, and consider staying indoors at dawn and early evening when the mosquitoes like to travel. As well, individuals should take particular care in bushy shaded areas.
With the fall weather starting to arrive in southwestern Saskatchewan, one of the results will be lower temperatures that will dip below the freezing mark. “As we see several hard frosts, the risk of contracting West Nile will continue to decrease even lower,” added Torr. “However, until that happens we would like to emphasize that there still remains some risk to contract this virus.”