West Nile virus found in Grand Forks

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"It's easy to take precautions to protect yourself by wearing insect repellent and getting rid of standing water around your home".

It's important that everyone cleans up after themselves and especially in swimming pools as they constantly seek for pools to lay their eggs.

With the arrival of the warm days of summer, everyone and everything is more active- including ticks and mosquitoes. Mosquitos become infected when they feed on infected birds and can then spread the virus to other animals.

Mosquitos that carry WNV got it from feeding on an infected bird - so if you see a sick or dying crow, blue jay, robin or other perching bird, it could be a sign that WNV is in the area. This year, the health department wants everybody to be extra cautious.

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If infected, it can cause high fever, confusion, muscle weakness and severe headache.

Halton Region has started its annual larviciding program to reduce the risk of West Nile virus (WNV) in the community. More serious complications include neurological illnesses, such as meningitis and encephalitis. If you are over 60 or have a weakened immune system you are at higher risk for severe illness from WNV.

Mosquito surveillance: Working with various county health departments, starting in early summer, the department coordinates the weekly collection and identification of mosquitoes from traps located in key habitats for mosquitoes.

Drain: Drain standing water from items around your home, yard, and business.

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Use EPA-registered insect repellents with one of the following ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol and 20undecanone.

Wear light colored long-sleeve shirts and long trousers.

In extreme cases it can cause death.

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