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West Nile fact sheet, including info on West Nile and pets

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Since we are now in West Nile Virus season I thought I would post some important information for anyone who will/may be encountering mosquitos this summer. This was taken from cp24.com.

West Nile

Here is some information about the West Nile virus that you should be aware of as mosquito season begins.


Here are the symptoms of the West Nile virus. But remember that these may be early symptoms of the virus, or of many other illnesses, so seek medical attention to find out the cause.

Muscle weakness
Stiff neck
Severe headache
Sudden sensitivity to light.
Extreme swelling or infection at the site of the mosquito bite is another reason to seek medical attention.

Who gets sick and why

Most people who get infection don’t show symptoms and don’t get sick. If they do, symptoms usually show up within two to 15 days. In mild cases, people might suffer from flu-like symptoms, including fever, headache, and body aches. Some may also develop a mild rash, or swollen lymph glands. But some individuals, including older people, have weaker immune systems. That means they face a greater risk of serious health problems including meningitis and encephalitis. In these cases, symptoms could include the rapid onset of severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, vomiting, drowsiness, confusion, loss of consciousness, muscle weakness, and paralysis. Severe cases of illness due to West Nile virus can be fatal.

The long-term effects of serious cases of West Nile aren’t totally understood yet. But some studies show that sustained health problems are possible. They can include physical issues ( long-term muscle weakness and paralysis, fatigue, and headache), cognitive effects (confusion, depression, problems with concentration, and memory loss), and functional effects (trouble preparing meals, going out, shopping).

And although people with weaker immune systems have a higher risk for serious health effects, WN virus can result in severe complications for individuals of any age or health status. Health Canada says that is why it’s important to cut down on your chances of becoming infected.

Protect yourself and your family from the virus by:

Covering up

Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn. When outside during this time, cover up. Mosquitoes are attracted to darker, more intense colours so make sure you wear light-coloured clothing, including long-sleeved shirts or jackets, long pants and tuck pants into socks for extra protection.

Using insect repellent

Use only those insect repellents that are federally regulated, such as those that contain DEET. The amount of DEET in the insect repellent should be no greater than 30% for adults and no greater than 10% for children. Health Canada says that DEET-containing repellents are not to be used on children under 6 months of age. It recommends that, where there is a high risk of complications to the child from insect bites, DEET may be considered for children aged 6 months to 2 years. Health Canada also advises not to apply DEET more than three times a day to children between 2-12 years of age.

Cleaning up - all around the house

The best way to keep mosquitoes away is to clean up areas where they like to breed. Mosquitoes don’t fly very far and usually stay close to their breeding sites and normal habitat. Look around your house and property and get rid of places that are mosquito-friendly.

Removing any type of standing water :

Clean up and empty containers of standing water such as old tires, flower pots, wheelbarrows, barrels or tin cans that are outdoors.
Change water in bird baths every other day.

Checking swimming or wading pools:

Immediately remove water that collects on pool covers.
Make sure pool's pump is circulating.
Turn over wading pools when not in use.

Always checking and clearing eaves and drains:

Clear leaves and twigs from eavestroughs, storm and roof gutters throughout the summer.
Make sure drainage ditches are not clogged.
Check flat roofs frequently for standing water.

Regular yard and lawn maintenance

Lawn cuttings, raked leaves or other decaying debris such as apples or berries that fall from trees should be recycled or mulched so that organic matter does not end up in storm sewers as a food source for mosquito larvae.

The compost pile is not off limits to mosquitoes. Turn over compost frequently.
Fill in low depressions in lawn areas
Clear out dense shrubbery where mosquitoes like to rest.

West Nile & Pets

They’re outside more than we are – so are your pets at risk from West Nile? It’s not common, but it has happened, according to the Toronto Humane Society. “In terms of who mosquitoes want to bite, cats and dogs are very low on the list,†confirms Amy White. “But if you are concerned, practice precautions, like keeping your animal in during dusk hours and dawn hours.†She also suggests keeping dogs away from ravines or areas with ponds. Insect repellent isn’t recommended for house pets. Some vets say feeding your pooch a "B" vitamin or garlic works, and there is also a dog mosquito repellent on the market.
post #2 of 2
Thanks for info Adrienne
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