Risk for West Nile virus in Hamilton goes from moderate to high after batch of mosquitoes test positive

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Published August 19, 2021 at 8:08 pm

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The risk for West Nile virus (WNV) in Hamilton was elevated from moderate to high on Thursday (Aug. 19) after the City’s medical officer says a batch of trapped mosquitoes tested positive this week.

While 80 per cent of people infected with WNV will have no symptoms, others — particularly older adults and those with weakened immune systems — may experience a fever. Some can develop more severe illnesses, including inflammation of the brain or the lining of the brain.

Symptoms typically appear two to 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

“In the warmer months, it is important to take precautions to avoid illnesses spread by insects including West Nile Virus and Lyme disease,” according to Dr. Bart Harvey, Associate Medical Officer of Health. “Employing simple preventive measures such as using insect repellent containing DEET or Icaridin, and wearing loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing will reduce your risk while you enjoy the outdoors.”

The City of Hamilton is reminding residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites and to remove standing water from private property to prevent mosquito breeding.

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