Medical

Ottawa Public Health warns of "higher than usual" West Nile Virus activity

Ottawa Public Health warns of

In rare cases, the virus can cause serious neurological disease. Liz Sharlot, the Health Department's director of communications, said samples are being taken around the state. "We usually begin seeing West Nile cases beginning in June, July and August".

A human case of the virus is unusual for the district, acting medical officer of health Dr. Marlene Spruyt stated in a news release this afternoon.

Rain and flooding have created many stagnant pools mosquitoes use to lay and hatch larvae, and Conservation police Sgt. Phil Wire urged extra vigilance for people who want to enjoy the great outdoors.

"It is a fact of our life", Moppert said. West Nile, she said, is found throughout the state. So far, Livingston Parish has two cases, East Baton Rouge Parish has one, and some parishes in north Louisiana have also had human cases. This marks the first clinically diagnosed and lab-confirmed human case for this area in 2017.




Areas that are sprayed throughout the summer have either shown an increase in West Nile activity or have high numbers of the Culex mosquitoes that have been known to transmit the virus in NYC.

While only 20 percent of people who are infected with West Nile show symptoms, people who are older than 65, pregnant or children are the most vulnerable to risky complications. Neurological damage can be permanent. In some individuals, especially the elderly, the disease can develop more seriously and can affect brain tissue. Weakness and fatigue may last weeks or months, but people with these symptoms completely recover.

Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens without tears or holes. "It's going to be in the 90s all week long", Moppert said.

While the Estevan area has not had the moisture typically regarded as ideal for mosquito breeding conditions, the heat experienced in the area has provided a boost for the spread of the mosquito population.


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