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Hamilton’s risk of West Nile Virus increases to ‘high’

Keep the bug spray on standby: Hamilton’s risk of West Nile Virus (WNV) has just increased.

A batch of mosquitoes trapped this week tested positive for West Nile Virus, marking the first confirmed WNV-positive mosquitoes found in the city this year and prompting the Medical Officer of Health to move the local risk from moderate to high.

The city is advising residents to take extra precautions to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes, including using bug spray containing DEET or Icaridin when in outdoor conditions where mosquitoes may be present.

Other preventative measures include removing standing water from private property; and avoiding areas known to have high mosquito populations such as wooded areas, gardens, and golf courses, especially at dawn and dusk.

Approximately 80 per cent of people who get infected with West Nile Virus will experience no symptoms, but older adults or those with weakened immune systems may be at greater risk of severe illness including inflammation of the brain or lining of the brain.

Symptoms, if they do occur, will appear anywhere from 2 to 14 days after infection.

Read more on the city website.

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