With August, comes mosquitos.
And mosquitos being out and about means we need to be careful and take precautions to prevent West Nile virus.
Interior Health said the mosquitos that are most likely to carry the virus are most active throughout August. West Nile is spread from infected birds to humans through mosquito bites.
The virus was first detected in B.C. in 2009, with five human cases since that time. All cases were locally acquired in the Okanagan. Last year, the virus was detected in a bird and a horse in the East Kootenay area.
Despite the low risk of infection, Interior Health recommends you don’t handle wild birds with your bare hands (dead or alive). If a dead bird must be moved, precautions should be taken. Unusual clusters of dead birds can be reported to the BC Interagency Wild Bird Mortality Investigation at 1-866-431-BIRD (2473).
Horse owners are advised to contact their veterinarian about equine vaccinations for West Nile virus.
The risk of serious illness coming from West Nile virus is low for most people, but the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are more at risk.
Interior Health lists the following ways to protect yourself and others from the virus:
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