State reports its 1st horse West Nile virus cases this year

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West Nile usually spreads between birds and mosquitos, and some Canadians have caught the virus from mosquito bites. To date this year, Public Health Ontario has reported five human cases in the province.

Surveillance for mosquito-borne diseases is being conducted by several agencies, including the MDHHS, the Departments of Natural Resources (MDNR) and Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and local health departments.

Repel mosquitoes by wearing long trousers, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks and by applying insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 according to product instructions. Most of the time, it's not a problem as most people with the infection won't experience symptoms.

Now Public Health England has reported that the mosquito known to transmit the infection - Culex modestus - has been found in the Thames Estuary, near to Southend.

The disease is spread by mosquitoes who have previously fed on infected birds, before passing their infected blood on to humans via bites. Clinical signs for WNV include flu-like symptoms, where the horse seems mildly anorexic and depressed.

The first West Nile virus case of 2018 has appeared in Monroe County. "That's why we are taking this step today so together we can help keep people from getting sick". View the HealthLinkBC file on DEET (http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthfiles/hfile96.stm) for guidelines on how frequently to apply repellent.

Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. They say mosquitoes remain active even during the fall months.

The infected mosquitoes were collected in the town last week. You should wear loose-fitting and long-sleeved clothing. Mosquitoes lay their larvae in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. If you've got a plastic swimming pool, empty it when it's not in use. Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Unused swimming pools should be drained and kept dry during the mosquito season.

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