Manitoba Health has confirmed that a child under the age of 10 was hospitalized for having West Nile Virus after experiencing neurological symptoms.
The child is from the Southern Health region and was likely bitten by a Culex tarsalis mosquito in early July.
Since the West Nile Virus first appeared in Manitoba several years ago the August long weekend has been a time of increased exposure to the mosquito carrying WNV.
Culex tarsalis mosquitoes are most active between dawn and dusk. Often times their bite goes unnoticed.
Manitoba Health says that it only takes one bite to become infected with West Nile and the risk for human exposure is highest over the next few weeks.
There are things you can do to reduce your risk of mosquito bites and contracting WNV such as:
• reducing the amount of time spent outdoors during peak mosquito hours (between dusk and dawn);
• using appropriate mosquito repellent;
• wearing light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing; and
• maintaining door and window screens so they fit tightly and are free of holes.
You can also take some precautions around your home
• clean eavestroughs and regularly empty bird baths and other items that might collect water;
• ensure rain barrels are covered with mosquito screening or are tightly sealed around the downspout;
• clear yards of old tires or other items that collect water; and
• improve landscaping to prevent standing water around the home.
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