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West Nile Virus in Ontario

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Published on Aug 31, 2012

West Nile virus arrived in North America in 1999 and has spread throughout Canada. The virus is carried by a variety of animals, namely birds, and is transmitted by mosquitoes. One particular mosquito genus, Culex species, has been linked to the transmission of the disease to humans. Within humans, the disease has a variety of symptoms with most being flu-like in nature (i.e. muscle aches, slight fevers). In 1 or 150 individuals, the disease can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and other serious neurological diseases. That is why it is important that people minimize the chances of contracting West Nile virus by protecting themselves from mosquito bites. Wearing long sleeved sweaters, pants, applying DEET and restricting outdoor activities during the daytime hours will help individuals from being bitten by mosquitoes.

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