First human cases of West Nile virus for 2017 confirmed in MI

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Canton-Potsdam Hospital reports that it recently treated and released a patient who tested positive for West Nile virus. However, DSHS emphasizes that personal protection is still the best defense against mosquito bites. But, Dr. Roumeliotis noted, people with weak immune systems are at a greater risk for serious complications that include encephalitis (infection of the brain) and possibly death.

The Bucks County Health Department will conduct an ultra-low volume spray operation on Friday, Sept. 1, to exterminate the breeding habitat of mosquitoes capable of transmitting West Nile virus in Bristol Township.

Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.

He said symptoms of West Nile can mimic those of flu or what people call "stomach flu".

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"Past surveillance for West Nile virus in our region has shown that the virus is established within Simcoe Muskoka and that we need to be aware", said Dr. Gardner. Most people with this type of illness recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.

Mild symptoms may include headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting diarrhea, or rash.

Other precautions include wearing light-coloured clothing, long sleeves, trousers and socks when outside, avoid being outside at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, and ensuring screens, windows and doors are fully sealed to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house.

Wear shoes, socks, long trousers and long sleeves when mosquitoes are most prevalent.

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Wear light-coloured clothing, covering arms and legs in areas where mosquitoes are present.

Place screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios. The health department advised residents to contact their health care provider if they are experiencing symptoms of West Nile virus. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flower pots, old auto tires, rain gutters and pet bowls. If you have standing water, get rid of it.

Empty and clean birdbaths and pets' water bowls at least twice a week.

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