Interior Health warns of mosquito-borne virus
Although mostly found in animals, West Nile virus could affect humans (Photo: Jimmy Chan/Pexels.com)
KOOTENAYS, B.C. – Interior Health warns that August is the month when mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus is at peak activity.
The presence of the virus was first detected in the Okanagan in 2009, and since then five human cases have been reported.
Last year the virus was detected in birds and a horse in the East Kootenay area.
West Nile virus is a disease that is spread from infected corvid birds (crows, ravens, magpies, and jays) to humans through mosquito bites.
Several parts of Canada and the U.S. continue to report ongoing West Nile virus activity.
The risk of becoming seriously ill from West Nile virus infection is low for most people; however, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are more at risk.
Any activity that prevents mosquitoes from biting or breeding can help to reduce the risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus.