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Child becomes first Manitoban infected with West Nile Virus in 2018

The first human case of West Nile Virus to be identified this year is a child.
The first human case of West Nile Virus to be identified this year is a child. Joao Paulo Burini / Getty Images

The person with the first human case of West Nile Virus to be identified in Manitoba this year is a child.

The Province says the person is under 10 years old and lives in the Southern Health region and was likely exposed in early July. The child experienced neurological symptoms and was hospitalized.

It comes one day after bug expert Taz Stuart told Global News that August long weekend is traditionally the riskiest time of year to be infected by the disease. The recent warm and dry conditions are ideal for Culex tarsalis mosquitos, the carriers of WNV. They often go unnoticed when biting.

Despite the low numbers of nuisance mosquitoes this summer, the numbers of infected Culex tarsalis continue to increase. Manitobans are urged to protect themselves by staying indoors during dusk and dawn, using mosquito repellent, and wearing white, long-sleeved shirts and pants instead of shorts.

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READ MORE:  August long weekend a high-risk time for West Nile, says Winnipeg bug expert

As always, eliminate standing water on your property to prevent the development of Culex tarsalis mosquito populations.

  • clean eaves troughs and regularly empty bird baths and other items that might collect water;
  • ensure rain barrels are covered with mosquito screening or are tightly sealed around the downspout;
  • clear yards of old tires or other items that collect water; and
  • improve landscaping to prevent standing water around the home.

For more information on any additional human cases, click here.

For more information about West Nile virus, contact Health Links–Info Santé at 788-8200 or 1 888 315-9257 (toll-free), or visit the Manitoba Health website at www.gov.mb.ca/health/wnv.

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