- The Quebec Health Ministry has issued a statement alerting the public to the discovery of West Nile Virus in mosquitos in the province.
- West Nile Virus is often symptomless but could lead to paralysis in extreme cases.
- The government also maintains a list of recommendations to prevent contact with mosquitos.
Vigilance remains essential to those who don't want to contract the disease. Those who work outdoors or near bodies of standing water are especially at risk. Mosquitos are found all over the world and carry many infectious viruses that can cause serious health problems.
West Nile Virus is indiscriminate and can infect anyone, no matter how healthy. Often, mosquitos infected with West Nile also carry California Serogroup Virus, which can cause severe neurological damage if not treated. These are the mosquitos that were recently discovered by Quebec's health ministry.
There are many ways people can protect themselves against the virus. Quebec's health ministry recommends to those worried about mosquitos to install measures that limit the presence of these pestilent insects. That means don't kill those spiders making their homes above your balcony, they're your best friends in this situation!
There are more than 3,500 species of mosquito in the world. The four most common types of mosquitos are found throughout Canada and the U.S.
Naturally, these four are also most likely to carry diseases such as West Nile and malaria.
These hibernating little insects can drink 3x their weight in blood and females can hatch up to 300 eggs in one go. Only female mosquitos bite.
Quebec's health ministry recommends keeping yards and gutters clean and eliminating all standing water from your property to prevent the spread of mosquitors.
Keep in mind that mosquito repellant only works if there's DEET in it and that the bugs are attracted to darker colours, lotions, and perfume.
West Nile Virus doesn't show symptoms in roughly 80% of all cases. The elderly and people with weak immune systems are most susceptible. Symptoms arise after a week or two of getting bit.
Aches and pains
Swollen lymph glands
Fewer than 1% of people will develop serious symptoms such as:
Nausea and vomiting
Doctors advise anyone who believes they've contracted West Nile to contact their health care provider. West Nile should go away naturally in a few days.
Wear long pants and skip the perfume if you'll be going on a hiking trip anytime soon!
To find out more about West Nile Virus and how to prevent it from happening to you, please visit the Government of Canada's official website.