Take Precautions Against West Nile Virus
Whether in the city, the country or out at the lake, Saskatchewan residents are being reminded not to forget the insect repellent and to protect themselves against mosquito bites.
While the risk of West Nile virus infection remains low to moderate in Saskatchewan, provincial surveillance data has confirmed the first West Nile virus infected mosquitoes of the season.
Mosquitoes which carry the virus (Culex tarsalis) are most active between dusk and dawn. By reducing the amount of time spent outdoors in the evening and ensuring windows and doors are tight and screens are free of holes, you can reduce your chances of exposure.
Other helpful tips include:
- using appropriate insect repellent;
- wearing light-coloured, loose-fitting, long-sleeved clothing; and,
- removing any standing water from your property.
Most people who become infected with West Nile virus experience no or mild symptoms. A small number of people may develop a more serious condition known as West Nile virus neuroinvasive disease. If you experience fever, confusion, neck stiffness or an unusually severe headache, seek medical attention.
There were three people treated for West Nile virus in Saskatchewan in 2018, but no cases in 2019 or 2020. The largest outbreak in Saskatchewan history was in 2007, when there were 76 confirmed cases and 6 deaths.
For updated West Nile virus risk levels, maps and surveillance data, visit: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/health/diseases-and-conditions/west-nile-virus.