(photo submitted by Grey Bruce Health Unit)

West Nile infected mosquitoes captured in Chatham-Kent

Mosquitoes that have been trapped in Dresden have tested positive for the West Nile virus.

The announcement was made Tuesday by Chatham-Kent public health officials.

“Residents should also take the time to eliminate mosquito breeding sites by removing any standing water from their property,” said Kurt Clemens, the municipality’s public health inspector, in a statement released Tuesday. “Anyone with the sudden onset of severe symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.”

Severe symptoms include stiff neck, nausea, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, and lack of coordination or paralysis.

The risk of severe symptoms from the West Nile virus is quite low, according to the health unit. But the risk is elevated for older persons and people who live with compromised immune systems.

Officials are asking residents to take precautions when around mosquitoes.

Protective measures include:

  • Wearing protective, light-coloured clothing, including long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks.
  • Using insect repellent containing DEET and follow the label directions.
  • Staying indoors when mosquitoes are most active (dusk to dawn).
  • Ensuring that all door and window screens are tight and free of any holes.

For more information on West Nile virus, residents can visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website or call CK Public Health at 519-355-1071.