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Guelph-area residents test positive for West Nile virus

GUELPH - Public health has confirmed two local human cases of West Nile virus.

Officials say these are the first human cases in the region this year, but three mosquito pools in Guelph tested positive for West Nile and a bird was confirmed to have the virus in July.

“There is reason to be concerned that West Nile virus could be more prevalent in the coming weeks,” said Shawn Zentner, health protection manager at WDGPH.

“It’s important for people to be extra cautious and protect themselves against mosquito bites when outdoors this late in the season.”

West Nile virus is most commonly spread to humans by mosquito bites. When infected, some people will experience flu-like symptoms.

In extremely rare cases there is the potential of inflammation of the brain and spinal column which may result in permanent disability or death. Adults over the age of 50 are most at risk of serious health effects.

To protect yourself from West Nile virus, officials recommend wearing light-coloured pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outside. Health Canada recommends adults and children over six months of age use a mosquito repellent with DEET or icaridin. People should also avoid being outside at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes tend to feed.

“Because mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, public health asks property owners to remove standing water anywhere it tends to collect,” including flower pots, bird baths, eavestroughs and rain barrels, states a WDGPH press release.

For more information on West Nile virus, visit

September 8, 2017


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