Protect yourself from West Nile virus

Provided by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit

May 18 2022

Spring has arrived, and with it the beginning of mosquito season. Infected mosquitoes can carry West Nile virus (WNV), which can transmit the neurological disease to humans through their bites. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is asking community members to take steps to protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases, such as WNV.

“Over the past few years, tests have revealed the presence of WNV among certain populations of mosquitoes in our area, causing cases of infection in humans,” recalls Dr. Paul Romelutis, EOHU’s medical officer for health. “Because West Nile virus infection can be dangerous, it is important to take steps to protect yourself and those around you.”

When you spend time outdoors, especially in mosquito-infested areas, you are more likely to be bitten and infected with WNV. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, shoes and socks to prevent mosquito bites, and if possible, hats or clothing with mosquito nets. Insect repellents, especially those containing DEET or icaridin, also prevent insects from biting you. If you sleep outside, settle down where mosquito nets can protect you.

Other ways to prevent the spread of WNV include controlling mosquito populations. To prevent mosquitoes from breeding around you, you can:

  • Empty containers filled with standing water outside such as children’s toys, flower pots, and wading pools.
  • Replace the water in the birdbaths or your pet’s bowl at least twice a week.
  • Clean dead leaves and other debris from gutters to prevent water from accumulating.
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To learn more about WNV and preventing the virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, go to

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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