Risk of West Nile Virus increasing due to warm weather

The BC Centre for disease control is warning that an increase in the number of mosquitos, also increases risk for West Nile Virus.

Higher temperatures mean more mosquitoes, and the BC Centre for Disease Control is warning that some of them may carry West Nile Virus.

Increasing numbers of mosquitoes have been particularly noticeable in the Okanagan and the Fraser Valley, and people in those regions and elsewhere should take appropriate precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

West Nile Virus (WNV) is transmitted from birds to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. So far this year there have been no positive test results in B.C. from human, animal, or mosquito samples. However, there have been reports of positive samples in Washington, Oregon, Manitoba and Ontario.

About 20 per cent of people who are bitten by a mosquito and infected with WNV may develop some symptoms, including fever, fatigue, headaches and swollen lymph glands. In rare cases (one in 150), the virus can cause severe illness, such as inflammation in or around the brain (encephalitis or meningitis), or polio-like paralysis, that can occasionally result in death.

To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes:

  • If possible, avoid being out from dusk to dawn as mosquitoes that carry WNV tend to be active at these times.
  • Wear protective clothing, especially outside in the early evening and at dawn. This includes long-sleeve shirts or jackets and long pants that mosquitoes cannot bite through. Tuck your pants into socks for extra protection.
  • Avoid dark-coloured clothing as it can attract mosquitoes.
  • Use mosquito netting for babies and toddlers in cribs and strollers.
  • Use mosquito repellent. Putting on personal insect repellents that are federally registered, such as those that contain DEET (N,N-Dethyl-m-toluamide) or PMD (lemon-eucalyptus oil) is an effective way to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
  • There are also many repellents that have been shown NOT to protect against mosquito bites, including bug zappers, devices that give off sound waves and Citrosa plants.

The public can help monitor for West Nile Virus by reporting dead corvid birds (crows, ravens, magpies and jays) by using the form at westnile.bccdc.org.

BCCDC, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, provides provincial and national leadership in public health through surveillance, detection, treatment, prevention and consultation services. The centre provides both direct diagnostic and treatment services for people with diseases of public health importance and analytical and policy support to all levels of government and health authorities.


Just Posted

Wayne Stetski and Forest Products Association of Canada CEO visit Golden

MP Wayne Stetski and Forest Products Association of Canada CEO Derek Nighbor toured LP Mill.

New massage clinic in Golden

A new massage clinic opened in Golden to help ease those aches and pains.

Hockey commentator gets his start

Lukas Pfisterer is just 12-years-old, but already making his mark as a commentator.

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Most Read