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Mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus have been found in Hamilton

Be safe and double up on that bug spray, because a cluster of mosquitoes trapped and examined in Hamilton last week were found to test positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).

These findings mark the first WNV-positive mosquitoes discovered in Hamilton for this year, which has led Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health to move the local risk from low to moderate until further notice.

Public health reminds residents to take extra precautions to avoid exposure to West Nile Virus, including using a mosquito repellent when outdoors, removing standing water from private property, and avoiding areas known to be heavy attractors for mosquitoes.

“It’s important to take precautions in the summer months to avoid illnesses like West Nile Virus and Lyme disease, which are spread by biting insects. If you plan to be outdoors, using an insect repellent containing DEET or Icaridin, and wearing loose fitting, light-colored clothing will help reduce your risk of being infected,” says Dr. Ninh Tran, Hamilton’s Associate Medical Officer of Health.

According to public health, roughly 80 per cent of people who contract West Nile Virus will exhibit no symptoms, while others – particularly older adults and the immunocompromised – could experience West Nile fever or develop more serious illness, including inflammation of the brain.

Any symptoms that may occur would appear anywhere between two and 14 days after being exposed.

To learn more about the risk of West Nile Virus in Hamilton, check out the city’s website.

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