West Nile virus: Mosquitoes known for spreading deadly disease found in UK

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West Nile virus: Mosquitoes known for spreading deadly disease found in UK

A total of 401 cases of the virus have been reported in the European Union so far in 2018.

There is no evidence that people can get the virus from a horse that has the disease.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Mosquito Control Section has seen an increase of WNV found in wild birds and sentinel chickens.

The City of Ottawa also says West Nile Virus has been spotted in local mosquitoes.

According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, the vast majority of people who contract West Nile will never show symptoms, but the disease is still serious for one in every 150 people infected. The risk of becoming seriously ill is low for most people; however, people over the age of 50 and those with compromised immune systems are more at risk. They say the horses confirmed with the virus had not been vaccinated.

West Nile usually spreads between birds and mosquitos, and some Canadians have caught the virus from mosquito bites.

How can I protect myself?

The Environmental Protection Ministry warned residents to protect themselves against insect bites and called on the local authorities to spray insecticide in areas where there are large numbers of mosquitoes or larvae. Stagnant backyard pools can be a big source of mosquitoes and should be maintained regularly to prevent mosquito growth.

Install screens on all windows.

Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn. Use as directed and consult a physician before using repellents on infants. Check the product label for instructions on proper use.

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