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Saskatchewan urges caution as West Nile Virus infected mosquitos found in province

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Health is advising the usual precautions as they have found some mosquitos around the province infected with the West Nile Virus.

While the risk of West Nile virus infection remains low to moderate in Saskatchewan, people are being reminded of what to look for and how to protect themselves.

Culex tarsalis, or black mosquitoes,  are the ones that carry the virus and are most active between dusk and dawn. Reducing time spent outdoors in the evening, ensuring windows or doors are tight and all screens are free of holes to reduce chances of exposure.

Other tips include using appropriate insect repellent, gearing up in light-coloured, loose-fitting, long-sleeved clothing and removing any standing water from your property.

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Most people who become infected with the West Nile virus experience no or mild symptoms, health officials say. A small part of that population could get West Nile virus neuroinvasive disease, though.

Symptoms include fever, confusion, neck stiffness or an unusually severe headache. If these show up after being bit seek medical attention.

There were three people treated for West Nile virus in Saskatchewan in 2018, but no cases in 2019 or 2020. People can find more about risk levels, maps and surveillance data on the Saskatchewan website. 

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