West Nile Virus not found in Renfrew County
West Nile Virus is back in Ontario, but hasn’t yet raised its ugly head in Renfrew County.
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care issued a notice last week that the number of mosquitoes with the virus is on the rise across the province, especially in Southern Ontario.
Eighty-nine positive mosquito pools have been found in the province to date, mostly in the Windsor and Golden Horseshoe areas, which is the highest for the same time period since 2002.
WNV-carrying mosquitoes have been detected in the Kingston and Ottawa areas as well.
The province is also seeing probable and confirmed human cases of West Nile virus appearing, which typically start to occur in August and September.
West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne virus that can very rarely cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). The virus was named after the West Nile region of Uganda, where it first appeared in 1937.
West Nile Virus is spread to humans through the bite of a mosquito which has become infected with the virus. Mosquitoes get the virus by feeding on infected birds. It is not transmitted from person to person, or directly from a bird infected by West Nile Virus to a person.
Less than one per cent of people who acquire West Nile Virus develop severe symptoms from the disease, and less than one per cent of them who contract it become seriously ill from the West Nile Virus. Most people only exhibit mild, flu-like symptoms, if they get infected at all.